How to do basic zenithal highlighting

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Zenithal highlighting on models can be a huge and somewhat complex topic and it’s with some reservation that I’m posting this whole “tutorial.” I don’t consider myself an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but hope to share what I know about the topic with those folks in the same boat as me.

This is not an exhaustive discussion on the topic by any interpretation either. There are painters out there who know much more than I do and there is much more that can be discussed when getting into something like this. All that being said, I’m hoping this post will help folks understand some of the basics with zenithal highlighting and give them enough of an understanding to try it out for themselves if they want.

I’m not going to get into the actual process of painting the model in this post, but instead I’m going to try and keep focused on the ideas behind everything. How you physically paint the model is important, but you need to understand the theory and why the paint goes in certain places and not in others first. Still with me? Let’s see if we can remove some of the uncertainty people have with trying to paint using this aproach.