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Zenithal priming

Light up your miniatures

An advanced step to priming miniatures is called Zenithal Priming. This technique utilizes the fact that paint is not completely opaque, to simulate light from the sun when it is at its zenith. After priming the whole miniature with Matt Black, simply spray Matt White only from above, with either a Colour Primer our using an airbrush.

This will leave the recesses and downwards facing areas black and our Warpaints™ or Speedpaint will look brighter when applied to the white areas compared to the black ones creating a natural base shading.

How to paint with a Zenithal Prime


Start by priming your miniatures Matt Black and let it dry completely. Remember to use Colour Primers outside.


Then Matt White Colour Primer spraying only from above. This will leave the recesses and underside of the miniature black. You could also do this step with Warpaints Air through an airbrush.


By painting the miniature with Speedpaint you maximize the effect of the Zenithal highlight and get instantly beautifully shaded miniatures.

Different colours, different effects

You don’t have to use White and Black as your Zenithal Colours. You can combine the idea with our principal of letting the Colour Primers do as much work for you as possible. Here we have primed an orc with Angel Green and the applied Goblin Green from above to get the same effect, and accomplish the first basecoat in the same step.

This is the same principal as our Colour Triads designed for airbrush. You build shadow, midtone & highlight extremely easily.

Learn more about Colour Triads

You can also combine contrasting colours to get unique effects. This monster was primed with Crystal Blue and given a Dragon Red zenithal highlight. Leaving the shadows cool and giving an disgusting looking purple skin with lots of variation.

Learn about colour schemes

Everything you need can be found right here in the shop

Dipit says

Zenithal highlighting might be hard to say, but its easy to do!

Dipit says