Jump to content

Recommended Posts



A client asked me to describe the drybrush painting technique and I thought I'd ask the question here. Where do people use this technique and do you have any pictures to show? 


I'll start by saying I use the technique regularly but I only have pictures of this technique being used on car models. I've attached a picture where the various nuts and bolts have been detailed using this technique. 


In essence, the brush is dipped in the paint and then pretty well 90% of the paint is removed. With whatever is left on the brush one can brush back and forth across a slightly raised part and give it some color. In the tiny nuts and bolts on that car part, a wet brush would have simply dropped gobs of paint on the model. It would be pretty well impossible to get those tiny screws on the left to look even without using this technique. 


Can people add some boat pictures using this technique? 


Best Regards, 



Edited by rshousha
Link to comment
Share on other sites


To add a little detail to the sails in a recent build, I made some crude attempts at dry-brushing. The jury is still out as to whether or not my weathering was successful, but my intention was to add, firstly, rust stains leeching from the grommets:



This was done with alternating dry touches of orange, yellow, copper and metallic red paints.


To further accent the weathered look, vertical dirt streaks were added:


EDIT: This look was created by streaking the white pencil vertically down the sail. Then, use the eraser horizontally to remove most of the white pencil. Rough up the remaining white pencil marks with the eraser, and then dry-brush the left-over pencil marks with brown and black touches of paint.

Remove 95%+ of a dipped brush onto a paper towel beforehand. 




These effects were created using everything in the following pic.


Edited by CaptainSteve
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve, fantastic job on the sails. They do look well weathered.


Rick, you pretty much described the technique in your post but I'll try to elaborate a little more on it.  The method I use is to dip only the very tip of the brush in a small amount of paint, then "paint" a paper towel with a back and forth stroke until the paint is almost gone (like maybe 98-99%), then brush it on the surface I want to "weather".  (Don't wipe the brush with a cloth or paper towel as if you are trying to clean it.) If  there is not enough paint left on the brush to leave a "streak" on the surface, then repeat the process leaving a tiny bit more paint on the brush.  It's a trial and error process until you get the feel for it. Practice on any flat surface you don't care about until you get the hang of it.  Use short strokes, don't try to cover a long area at once, use repetitive short strokes to basically streak the area. I generally use a flat brush rather than a pointed tip brush.


Another technique is to get some artists pastel chalks and/or charcoal sticks. Using a knife scrape the chalk/charcoal to get a small amount of "dust" on a piece of paper, then using a very clean dry brush, pick up some of the dust and either wipe in on or just place it down on the surface (latter makes it look like accumulated "dust/dirt/grunge"). Once you have the look you want use an artists fixative to permanently set it in place (hold the spray can well back so the air blast doesn't blow the dust off - you just want to mist the fixative over the piece).


Hope this helps explain it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rick, I understand what you mean about using weathering to bring out or enhance small detail, example small rivets, etc.  Unfortunately I do not have any nautical examples to show you. The weathered sails Steve posted above is an excellent example of weathering to make sails look aged (in fact his scale sails closely resemble the 1:1 scale 100 year old sails on some of our clubs ice yachts). I would study his results to pick up the technique.


The only example I have at the moment of weathering something other than small detail is this photo of an N-scale rotary snow plow. The weathering was done using Floquil grimy black.




It was done using the technique I described in my earlier post. I may have some other examples tucked away in storage boxes, if I can locate them I will post pictures here.


I agree Tamiya makes excellent paints. If you can find the original Floquil or PolyS brands of paints they also have an excellent selection of weathering colors. Unfortunately they are no longer being manufactured - as far as I can tell. I have not tried any of the newer brands that have come on the market in recent years.


Weathering a ship's deck would be interesting to do. I've never tried it only because I preferred pristine ship models. Weathering the effects of water spilling down the side of a ship from the scuppers and/or bilge pumps would be interesting to do also. Paste chalks and/or charcoal sticks would make some interesting grime effects.


You've brought up an interesting topic, thanks for doing so.

Edited by Jack12477
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One very common beginner mistake when weathering using the dry brushing technique, is that at first you see nothing happening, then all of a sudden you start seeing some nice result and think. "Oh look, this looks great, let's do it some more and it will get better" WRONG!!! STOP RIGHT THERE!!!

When dry brushing weathering effects usually less is better. Weathering shouldn't be seen, it should be "perceived". This I have learned through years of experimentation, way before the internet and sites like this one. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...