Zenithal highlighting is simply a way of pre- shading a model. The tricky part is applying the colour afterwards to make sure you don’t ruin the preshade. But we’ll get to that in a bit… In astronomy the word ‘zenith’ means the point in the sky or celestial sphere directly above an observer, so in painting terms it means your highlight comes directly from above the miniature. There are two primary reasons that someone will use zenithal priming when painting miniatures. First, when you begin painting miniatures it is sometimes difficult to determine exactly where on your model highlights and shadows should go. When you prime zenithaly the lighter colored paint will naturally fall on the places where the highlights should be and the dark paint will naturally be in the shadowed areas of the model.