Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Trying Something New

      While watercolor tends to be my go to medium, every now and then I will pull out my other mediums to mix things up (and to keep up my skills with them).  Awhile back I did this with my acrylics and experimented with painting on mirrors.  I was pretty happy with the results:

Cherry Blossom Chickadees

      But as with any nonporous, smooth surface glass doesn't hold paint well.  Without any tooth for the paint to grab onto it becomes very easy for the paint be scratched or peeled off.  This is an obvious problem when it comes to trying to clean off dust that will inevitably settle on the mirror part. 

      To get around this problem, I primed the silhouette shape of my image using white paint meant for glass crafts, then baked it in the oven to help it set.  Once the glass cooled, I painted the final painting on top of the primer.  Whether or not this has made a difference in the overall longevity of my pieces is too soon to tell, but so far they seem to be holding up.

      Still, the idea that the piece is still that much more susceptible to damage has led me to attempt a new technique: reverse painting.  For those of you not familiar with the concept, reverse painting is basically painting backwards.  You paint on one side of the glass so that the finished image can be seen from the other side.  This would mean the glass can be freely wiped without harming the painting.  Cool right?  I've used this technique on a few prior occasions, most notably, the window displays I did for a daycare a couple years ago.

This lovely lamb and lion were painted on the inside of the building.

      Now, you might have noticed the images from the daycare are in the cartoon style I use.  Flat images like that are much easier to paint in reverse.  To paint in a more realistic style like my chickadee and cherry blossoms mirror above will be the real challenge.  Fortunately, I'm generally up for a good challenge.

      As for the mirror part of my painting, I have a plan for that as well (maybe you've guessed it), but I'll leave that until a later post.  If I'm successful with this project, you'll be seeing the final product soon enough.

      Wish me luck!  :)

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