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Charlie's Mum 07-27-2014 04:37 PM

PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal: GLASS
This is a read only file, the original thread is here.

Welcome to our latest PAL (Paint-A-Long) and, at the request of some, we’re researching painting glass and metal. :eek:

Part One: Painting glass

As always, we will learn and share together, each bringing to the thread our own individual way of painting. Please don’t think there’s only one way, my way!!!

What I’m hoping to do here is make you look at and think about the subject – then forget the ‘subject’ and just LOOK and analyse!:)
Firstly, you are not painting GLASS, you are painting an ILLUSION of glass. :)
So Stop! Don’t think ‘Glass’, think shape, colour and tone instead! (SCT)

Look at a ref. of a glass object on screen and zoom in until you can’t recognise the object, only see Shape, Colour and Tone.

(Image from RIL by Stephie20)

What we really see is a collection of shapes, colours and tones – we see the colours behind and around, or inside, the glass.

Now, in this crop, identify all the subtle colours you see there.

If you can, turn it to greyscale and identify the tones – if it’s easier for you, try to group these into just FOUR shades of grey, plus black and white.

At risk of repetition, when we view clear glass objects what we’re actually looking at is a variety of shapes in different colours and tones which, when ‘joined up like a jigsaw’, make the brain identify ’glass’, ‘bottle’, ‘ jug’ etc.

What we need to do is encourage the right side of the brain to take over, so instead of thinking logically ‘How do I paint this crystal glass?’ we ignore the overall object and instead concentrate on the individual shapes/colours/tone and paint those …… eventually, they knit together and the brain will say ‘Aha! A crystal glass’. :D

To encourage right-brain-thinking, when sketching/painting, if using a ref. image, try turning it upside down and simply draw/paint what you see.

Of course, it does require close attention to the Shape/Colour/Tone and the proportions of each and the relationship between the parts!

Try it on a quick sketch!

Zoom in to a small area, enlarge it and paint the SCT you see – look at all the nuances of C and T.
Go back to the whole ref and notice how glass distorts those shapes which will make your final objects!
The colours of your glass will come from the backgground and light and any other colour nearby.

e.g - look at these images with ref. to S/C/T

Glass floats by Cyntada in the RIL

Waterjug by Jocelynsart, RIL

Charlie's Mum 07-27-2014 04:37 PM

Re: PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal
Now, to study from life, find some clear glass - a couple of glasses or wineglass and bottle – and set them against a b/g of coloured paper (or other coloured object – use a lamp so you can control the lighting from one angle/source.
(A good idea is to set up a box in which you can control colour and group, make a hole in one side and direct a lamp through that, this way you can make the lighting constant).


Now study all the different colours in the objects –
How do you see the object?
How does the front object distort what you see of the back one?
What makes you see a rim to the glass?
How much of it can you see?
What colour is the shadow? What colours do you see in the stem or the base?
Change the b/g colour and go through the exercise again.
Now look at this illustration of a dolphin …….

Or is it? ……
maybe a slightly larger version …

Or maybe an even bigger one…?

…. Of course, it’s a perfectly ordinary water jug! (by TeAnne, RIL)

But isn’t it amazing how shapes can be broken down so areas of tone can be seen easily and how a seemingly ordinary object can be so dramatic – because of tone?


In these images, look at the distortion created by the curvature of glass.

What colours make up the vase?
How does glass cast a shadow?
Note how the light passes through glass and hits the side furthest away, creating highlights there also.

Check distortion in this image -

Now look at this image of coloured floats. (Cyntada, RIL)

Zoom into the dark float on the left and try to identify the different colours – what kind of tone value is each one? Look at the shapes of those colours – where do they come from? What distortion makes them? Try to identify the shadow colours in this crop from the Floats image.

Now to put that into practice!

Glass Images, RIL

Choose any from those in the RIL (or any of the above illustrations) and make a smallish painting – rough, loose – the idea is to make you look at the S/C/T and interpret it on the paper/canvas.
To avoid getting too bogged down in detail, try limiting yourself in time – and do the very basic amount of drawing needed (or none if you can manage it!) These are merely exercises, explorations, not intended as ‘finished’ paintings

Concentrate on shape, consider its colour/tone, paint that shape.

Look at an adjoining shape and follow the same routine – and so on.

TIP – if you are making a very basic, symmetrical shape, draw a central vertical, draw one side of the shape, trace it, reverse it and fit the shape down the vertical to complete the shape.
OR, make a template of the first side by cutting from scrap paper, reverse it, draw round it to complete the whole shape ……… and that’s all you need to start!:)

How some other painters have tackled the subject

One of our greatest painters of Still Life was Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin in France during the 18C.

Glass carafe and silver goblet-

... and another of his -

His observation was very acute and he often painted the same subject many times over. His work was in great contrast to the prevailing style of the time – Rococo –frilly and fanciful! (See the works of Boucher and Fragonard …. Google is so helpful!!).

Some present day painters – thanks to the Internet it’s much easier to see a huge range of individuals’ works and virtually visit their galleries!
Look at :
Sara Qualey - scroll down for some glass work!
Judy Crowe
Katarzina Lappin
Sharon Douglas (also a WC member!)
Nitsa's demo of pepperpot. (Nitsa (Anita) was a guide here in Acrylics a few years ago - you may find her demo thread helpful).
Sarah Lamb - there are some still life paintings with glass objects.

Charlie's Mum 08-01-2014 12:12 PM

Re: PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal
I really hope this is clear!

I've had to prepare this with lots of breaks in between and it's easy to lose a train of thought that way!:eek:

Anyway - the intention is to PAINT, and SHARE the process!
When you post a piece please try to explain your thought process, what you're trying to achieve and how you're going about it - what you say may very well 'light a bulb' for another person!

Have fun - let's paint!

ColinS 08-01-2014 01:37 PM

Re: PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal
I have just quickly glanced at this Maureen but it looks terrific. I am sorry to be going away for a couple of weeks, but will try and do a little before I go and then catch up on my return. :)

desthers 08-01-2014 01:56 PM

Re: PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal
See some wonderful abstracts in all of this. Thanks for all your planning.

Cathryn&Shep 08-01-2014 02:39 PM

Re: PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal
Those glass fishing floats have piqued my interest to pursue this challenge. So, I'm going to give this one a go! I collect glass floats and even learned how to tie some in a rib hitch net. I cropped out a few from a RIL image and will try to be more "painterly." :lol:

Btw, do PALS have a 'time limit'? :rolleyes: I mean, do we only have a month to paint glass and metal? This is my first PAL :lol: :lol: :lol:


Charlie's Mum 08-01-2014 03:14 PM

Re: PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal
As and when you can Colin - we're not going anywhere ;) :lol:

Diane - hope you can follow with us.:)
Catherine - it's not a 'challenge' as such (though it may be trying to paint some objects!) .... it's a learning thread, an exploration, time is not an issue and everyone adds to the thread as and when they can.
We all learn together.:)

susme48 08-01-2014 09:57 PM

Re: PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal
So excited!! Been gone all day, but plan to start playing tomorrow! :) Thanks so very much, Maureen!!!!

Charlie's Mum 08-02-2014 08:30 AM

Re: PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal
Hi Susan - glad you caught sight of it!

Forgot to tell people to 'subscribe' to the thread! ;)

old_hobbyist 08-02-2014 11:16 AM

Re: PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal
Maureen, I have been painting glass and reflective "stuff" for some time. My marble ptg, a classic example, is shown below - 16 x 20 on canvas panel.

But in the past couple of years, I've been hammered many times by critics and professional artists (and judges) who say that my "stuff" is too programmed, too rote, too academic, too lifeless, too still-life-ish.

The truth is that these efforts take a whole bunch of time to faithfully execute. And frankly, it hurts to have these efforts sniffed at.

One esteemed judge wrote that if I wanted realism, I should spend more time taking photographs.

So while it was great for 18C artists to paint like this, the genre is apparently truly passé. So while I love to execute these really tight realistic still-lifes, I have been slavishly trying to move away from this genre.

Any thoughts?

susme48 08-02-2014 11:46 AM

Re: PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal
Maureen....so glad I saw it too!! :D Just went thru' all the glass images in our RL and then went to Paint My Photo, and went thru' theirs...:eek: :angel: Now I seem to be in overload...:lol: So many ideas...whew!! Gonna have a cup of coffee and then see what to do...

old_hobbyist...that is such a great painting!! At least you have the courage to enter things....I don't as yet. I am pretty thin-skinned...sigh. Cannot imagine the amount of work and effort it took to get the beauty of those effects!!

LavenderFrost 08-02-2014 12:20 PM

Re: PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal
Old hobbyist, that is beautiful. I don't really understand what those critics are talking about. You captured the beauty of glass.

I can't find time to paint these days but I'll just add my two cents. I have painted glass before and what Maureen says is true. You just have to use observation and paint what you see. Something like cut crystal looks confusing and has a lot going on in there, but as long as you have the main elements in place you can relax a bit with the finer details.

susme48 08-02-2014 02:31 PM

Re: PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal
Here's my first attempt...from a photo I found in PMP. It's about an hours work, with a few minutes to let the bg dry, and about 15 for the sketch. I did not let it dry long enough...:lol: I used quinacridone magenta, pthalo green and white. Stuck in a bit of naples yellow light in the bg reflections. I'm not fond of how the colors ended up...but decided a limited palette was best for this. I freehanded the rough sketch and I am so aware of how off it seems...but may go back and fix all that later?

Probably should have posterized it, but at this point was just kind of going for 'down and dirty'...:lol: and to see what happened. Used larger brushes for most of it, so I could stay somewhat painterly.


14x11 canvasboard

Charlie's Mum 08-02-2014 03:03 PM

Re: PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal
I'll be back later Jim - and until then, I agree with Michelle about your painting.:)

Good quick sketch susan - and unles you want to turn it into a finished 'keeper/framed' work, I'd leave it - it has freshness.:)

susme48 08-02-2014 07:23 PM

Re: PAL (Paint-a Long): Painting glass and Metal
Thanks, Maureen! You know me, tho'....:angel: always gotta see where I can go with things. Plus, seems like forever since I really wanted to paint, and I need to 'want' to. :)

Decided after touching things up, that some of the reflections in the glass were the darn rose, that I was going to leave out...sigh. Added some cad red dark and naphthol scarlet to the mix, and sap green and yellow to the rose leaf/stem .

So here's where I am now...not so pleased with the rose, but feel a bit better about the glass?

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