Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Getting it Backwards: Painting on Glass

Painting on glass means painting 'in reverse' because the end result is intended to be seen from the outside while it is painted on the inside. So it is a bit of trick to plan the method...what goes on the surface first will be seen as the outer layer from the outside as opposed to the usual approach of painting from the bottom layer up on a typical surface. 

Here is what the window looked like after the first treatment, with white laid on first from the inside. 

The highlights of the scene had to be painted el freso on the clear glass with the understanding that it would be the front, top color in the end result.  Painting 'in reverse'. 
With the white established as a 'scaffold', the remaining colors were systematically applied to bring the design to life. 

Seen from the inside, the panel began to take on a life of its own. The original intent was for the artwork to be viewed from the outside looking in.  I only discovered well into the process that there was equally rich potential for imagery on both sides of the glass.

I also found that the painting looks very different depending on the time of day (ie: light conditions) and was even influenced by the objects outside such as parked cars. (The picture above is from the inside looking out.)

The play of light through the clear glass panel dramatically affects the visual effect as much as the random items that can be seen through the glass interacting with the surface tension.
If you look carefully you can see through certain parts of the painting to reveal shapes that influence what the thing looks like. (Another picture of the finished painting from the inside.)

Outside the building  looking into the darkness of the interior.
This photograph of the window painting from the outside shows the colors laid down first with a fair amount of 'unpainted' glass acting as a dark tone (in the daytime) to accentuate the shapes. At night those dark shapes would appear 'light', because the interior lights would then shine through the 'negative space'.

Detail of 'Zen Window' shows the simplified, graphic style of rendering that is reminiscent of Mattisse.

I  asked the owners of "The Little Olive" Health Food Store -on Main Street in Watrous, SK- to take a snapshot of me posing in front of the finished painting from the inside to show the scale.

 This was a fun and interesting project. I enjoyed the experimental nature of the thing and was pleasantly surprised at how striking it looks in its new home overlooking Main Street in beautiful downtown Watrous!

No comments:

Post a Comment