Stippling is one of those rarely used techniques amongst figure painters but still one worth knowing none the less. It has a number of applications for adding weathering and wear to surfaces on armour, vehicles and scenery, in fact anywhere where you want to add random blotches of colour rather than a controlled blend.
Some of my favourite ways to use a stippling brush is to paint worn areas such as walkways or to apply mud splashes to vehicles.
Making a stippling brush
Whilst some art shops do sell stippling brushes, these tend to be expensive and much to big for the average model painters needs. Anyway they are easy and cheap to make, just follow the steps below:
- Get a brush you don’t mind mutilating. This could be an old brush and a new cheap one from a pound store.
- Cut the end off the bristles, leaving about a 1/4 or less of the original length above the ferule. Try and cut this flat, trimming it if necessary until you are happy with the result.
- Tap the bristles onto a desk or your hand a few times until they start to splay out slightly.
Using the brush
Stippling is a very fast and effective technique that requires very little practice. Just dab your brush into your paint, and then using tapping motions dab the paint onto the surface. Don’t be too hard with this, it’s easier to control the amount of paint on the brush if it’s not showing enough. If in doubt a quick dab on a piece of paper will show you how much paint it will leave on the model.
Have fun trying this out.