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Old 11-27-2003, 12:20 AM
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artpapa artpapa is offline
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how I paint glass

First of all big thanks to Wetcanvas creators who understand how important it is for us artists to come together.

I created this little presentation especially for Wetcanvas community in order to introduce myself, but looks like some people have already heard about me ...
Please, excuse me for the few fuzzy pictures, my digital camera was shaking and there is no way to redo some shots.

I will share with you one of the ways how I paint glass, it will be a fragment from the painting I am doing now. I hope this topic could be interesting for those artists who care about precision technique.

My painting philosophy is a multiple layering of the Flemish Masters' oil painting technique.

Glass is one of the textures which does not require layering and shouldn't be started from the white prime. And a smart way to do that is to paint right on top of the finished, well dried background.

Glass, I think, is supposed to be painted with as less layers as possible.
The most important thing is to catch reflections and translucency at the same time.

Here is the palette I am going to use: little greenishness will tell us that glass is actually colder than the around color atmosphere. The major pigments are:
Naples yellow, Burnt umber and Prussian blue.

Even if I consider glass completely transparent and not having any color I can't get away with only highlights (lighter colors). That's why the first strokes on the glass are usually gently darker than background, and only following ones are gently lighter.


In the first few stages we build up highlights constructions with the most dark mixture of the light palette.
I'm using the fine kolinsky brush with the short, accurate and confident strokes.


We're putting ornament on other side of glass, making it a little darker.
Then ornaments go to the front side, make them lighter. Ornaments' presence can always bring a desirable transparent effect, so sometimes even if I don't have ornament on my subject I am adding it myself.


When I make sure that all constructions are properly finished, I take the fluffy blinding brushes and add some fingerprints and frosted spots, which tells us that the human beings are around.


After the blending I can go a little wild with flecks of sunlight, highlights by adding to the palette Flake White with Cadmium Yellow Deep.
Finishing bright touches could be considerably heavier in the deposits of paint.


As soon as I will finish the painting I will scan it and post it here.
Thank you for your attention.
I will be glad to discuss with you how to paint glass, and not only glass, there is lots of different textures in Flemish masters technique.

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Old 11-27-2003, 01:29 AM
Huygens Huygens is offline
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Superb work, but why glass?

Glass painting is done quite a bit for decorative work, such as in clock dials and ornamental panels in clock cases. As a matter of fact therre are several professionals who do nothing but paintings and restorations for clocks.

But I'm curious why it would be a support preferable to cloth or wood for paintings such as you do.

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Old 11-27-2003, 03:00 AM
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artbars artbars is offline
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Hi Alexei!

It very interestingly in detail to consider
The complete attention to each detail of a picture is very important.
Beautiful work! Interesting engineering of execution.
The large thank! I observe further
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Old 11-27-2003, 03:32 AM
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palob palob is offline
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Hi Alexei!
Welcome to WetCanvas. I am glad you finally found us. (Even if it means we should stop bad-mouth you ).
I like you work very much and I am currently trying Flemish technique for the first time. So I am impatiently waiting for any picture you post here as well as any advice.
I know you are very busy, but I hope you will show here quite often.

Did I mention your glass is perfect? Thank you for sharing it.

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Old 11-27-2003, 03:33 AM
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Biki Biki is offline
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thank you

this is a very valuable lesson for me.

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Old 11-27-2003, 04:33 AM
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Zarathustra Zarathustra is offline
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Hi Alexei,

Adding the fingerprint to the glass is a very nice touch - I wonder how many people would even consider to add such a detail!

It was a pleasure to follow your tutorial and I'm hoping one of our moderators will consider turning the thread into an article so it doesn't become lost in this forum.
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Old 11-27-2003, 05:11 AM
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Classical Vince Classical Vince is offline
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Your work is wonderful to behold! Thanks for pulling everything together for the thread. So are you here to lure us all like the pied piper over to Artpapa with all this beautiful artwork?

Really hope to see more. Welcome.
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Old 11-27-2003, 07:59 AM
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Paul Mesken Paul Mesken is offline
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Hi Alexei and welcome to WC!

Great demonstration, I'm sure a lot of people will benefit from this lesson. Excellent job!
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Old 11-27-2003, 10:38 AM
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Eugene Veszely Eugene Veszely is offline
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Wow , quite a lesson there.
My Website
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Old 11-28-2003, 03:31 AM
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belladonna belladonna is offline
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Artpapa, very cool to see you here.
This is beautiful! A lovely, concise, lesson. Will watch to see the finished work. In the meantime I do have 3 questions cause I just can’t wait… :
1. Are you going to add a bit of the rose color in the reflections?
2. Is ok to put a highlight on such a dark background? Will the background seep through or is the paint thick enough to prevent this from happening?
3. What is your pallet for the rest of the painting? Does it include the colors used for the glass?

Inquiring minds want to know…
"May your work be in keeping with your purpose and design" Leonardo Da Vinci.
I like, to paint.
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Old 11-28-2003, 04:22 AM
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Krasnojarsk Krasnojarsk is offline
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Thank you very much Alexei, I thought I was looking at a photo there for a while!

Thank you for sharing your tips,

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Old 11-28-2003, 05:18 AM
Huygens Huygens is offline
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Hey Artpapa--

I thought you were painting ON glass. Now I begin to understand.

There is actually a name for painting on glass with oils. It is called "reverse painting" because it is done on the back side of the glass.

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Old 11-28-2003, 09:05 AM
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dudley_d dudley_d is offline
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Re: how I paint glass

Originally posted by artpapa
As soon as I will finish the painting I will scan it and post it here.

Eagerly await your next post. I admire your work.
Welcome Alexei!

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Old 11-28-2003, 09:51 AM
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Brian Barton Brian Barton is offline
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Where can I learn about the Flemish Technique?
This painting is exquisite and beautifully executed, I would dearly like to learn how to paint like this, I don't expect to ever achieve this dream but I would like to improve in this direction.
A really brilliant painting, thank you for showing.
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Old 11-28-2003, 10:04 AM
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palob palob is offline
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Brian, artpapa's site is www.artpapa.com. It contains teaching videos and on-line transcript (both types are paid). Also there are two free examples.

Here at WC some people have WIPs (myself included ).

I suggest to read free lessons at artpapa and these threads before buying videos...


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