The dry brushing ( drybrush in English) is a technique painting on reliefs media, used in particular for miniature, realistic painting of models and modeling .
It consists of using a small quantity of almost dry paint and brushing the part to paint with a brush with more or less hard bristles. The paint is deposited at the top of the reliefs and then reveals the details with more clarity. By using a clear paint, we can achieve a semblance of lighting reliefs, and bring out the details and edges of the model.
The wash is a complementary technique that can also give relief, and consists of diluting a little paint darker than the base color to make it completely liquid. We then obtain a juice , which is applied to the model or figurine and the liquid paint will be fixed in the hollows and interstices , giving the impression of shade .
The practice of “brushing” requires a little training, but it is better not to have enough paint to have excess. To check the amount of paint on the brush, simply pass the plate of the hair slightly, either on a piece of paper towel or on the tip of a finger (Attention to a possible toxicity of the paint).
If there is a lack of paint, the color will not settle, if there is too much, it will completely cover the details (your fingerprints when you test the brush, texture of the paper, etc.), if the dose is correct, the hue will be deposited only on the reliefs. To make a good brushing, it is better to use a flat brush.
When dry brushing, the pressure and the amount of paint will affect the thickness of the line. It is therefore possible to very easily create a gradient from darker to lighter, playing on the intensity of brushing.
This technique can also be used for aging ( weathering English) surface, light brush strokes across the surface allow to apply irregularly a lighter shade or different, giving a worn or dirty appearance to the object, and bring out the fine details (rivets, bolts etc …)
The combination of dry brushing and wash allows for example to obtain a realistic rendering on the cape of a figurine: wash for the hollow in dark, then dry brushing on the edges.
Dry brushing can be done with a sponge or cloth when the object to be brushed is on a sufficiently large scale; another reason for using these tools instead of the brush is that when you look closely at the texture of the brush brushing, you notice the furrows created by the hair.