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After painting the cannons I try to figure out the best way to hilight the points that give volume. Burnt umber....in liquit or as dry pigments, or even soft lead powder?


Any gunman on board?

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You could try to wet blend the grey into the black then by layering it up adding a little white to the grey each time, only put the grey on the shape points of the cannon and only where the light would hit the cannon the effect is quite nice start with a mid tone grey.

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Hello Messis.


Paint flat black and apply a VERY VERY LIGHT touch of silver or aluminum paint using DRY BRUSH TECHNIQUE. 

Tha DBT allows you to lay a super light and thin amount of paint that only highlights or accents the raised parts. It works for me.

Rubbing graphite powder works very well also. Remember that in these processes, less is better. A minute amount of whatever you are using goes a long way. 

The most common mistake people do when learning these techniques is "Overdoing it" You see you are getting results and think that by keeping doing it it will get better. WRONG!

Stop right there!


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I have no idea if this would work on brass cannon, but could be interesting to try bees wax, turpentine and black pigment powder (like lamp black) as was done on the actual barrels back in the day. I doubt it would be better than blackening, paint, or other options we have today, but if it works, it would lend an air of authenticity and give a bit of a conversation piece.


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