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Painting Philosophy: Way of the Brush

Painting Philosophy: Way of the Brush

Welcome to another entry in the ‘Painting Philosophy’ series, where I let you in on ‘how’ and especially ‘why’ I do some things in a certain way. In my opinion a proper approach to painting is crucial to maintain a healthy, rewarding experience and to produce satisfactory results. Today I will focus on brush handling and hand support during painting.

Brush Handling

Handling a brush is a personal thing. It depends mostly on your experience, preferences and muscle memory. It would be inappropriate for me as a painter to tell you how to handle your brush, but I can definitely share some of my own habits. For starters, brush control and hand support, both heavily impact precision of the painting process. I found these skills worth practicing early on.  

When painting, I usually hold a brush with three fingers (see pics) and control it with small movements of my fingers and wrist. This is where most of the brush movement originates from, regardless of inclination. I tend to hold brushes close to the “crimp” on the ferrule, which gives me better control over the tip. Most of the time I loosely support the handle of the brush on my hand, between the pointing finger and thumb. This decreases brush vibrations and makes it follow the movement of the hand much smoother. On occasion, in the midst of painting, I might raise the handle off of my hand to gain access to a spot that is otherwise difficult to reach (such as painting obscured eyes), but most of the time it stays in the resting position. All of this combined allows for a wide range of smooth, precise movements with which to work with. 

Hand Support

Shaky hands or just unnecessary movement might render even the most professional brush handling ineffective. I always keep my wrists supported on the edge of a painting desk. This is to properly immobilize the miniature but also reduce any macro movement (breathing, elbows etc.) translating onto the brush. To make this a bit less uncomfortable for my wrists I use smooth edge covers for furniture permanently glued onto a working desk (you can learn more about this life hack here).

When in need of increasing precision even further, I like to ‘link’ my hands, supporting brush hands pinky on the hand that I hold the miniature with. Both hands micro movements synchronize and I get more control over the tip as a result. 


Frankly speaking, the aforementioned methodology does not work the same for every painting technique. Depending on the size and type of the miniature I sometimes deviate from the norm. Some techniques, such as drybrushing or washing, might not require much precision, whereas detail heavy techniques will definitely benefit from proper brush handling and hand support. 

I hope you found this tutorial interesting. Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments below or via Facebook or Instagram. I would also appreciate if you’d consider sharing my content with your friends, who might find it useful. Finally, if you are looking for a professional Warhammer miniatures painting service, be sure to contact me via this contact form. I always reply within 24 hours. If you don’t see anything from me by then, please check your spam folder.


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