Having recently opened up my art shop, I thought it would be a good idea to go through the process of how I create my reverse glass paintings. Reverse glass is probably my favorite art that I create. I do enjoy painting on canvas and making the keychains and I think the jackets I've done have come out pretty cool, but I love doing reverse glass. I think part of it is because I don't see a ton of other people doing it, so it's a way in which I can be unique but more of it is that I know, for myself, it's more on the abstract side so if a color doesn't match perfectly, it's okay. My favorite thing about these pieces is that some of them look real weird up close but if you step back and look at them, they look like what they are supposed to. I had an art teacher in high school encourage us to step back from our art once in a while and look at it with a from a distance. We can't always see what's going on when we are up close creating the piece.
The piece that I'm going to explain with some detail is one of my most recent pieces. At the end of my senior year in college, I went on a missions trip to Thailand with my favorite professor and a group of 12 students. One of the days, we had the opportunity to go to an elephant sanctuary and I got this photo when we were watching them walk around and paint.
Almost all of the reverse glass paintings I have done started from photographs I took. The
only exception to that at current is a painting I did for the cover of our literary magazine in high school and I just looked up under water photos on google and went with something. All the rest have been photos I took. I don't intentionally take pictures because I believe they will make good reverse glass paintings, I just find pictures after the fact and play around with them in photoshop and then decide I want to paint them. When I'm messing with a picture in photoshop, I usually try to make the colors more vibrant. Sometimes the colors are so vibrant the piece becomes abstract. That didn't happen quite as much with this elephant piece. I did brighten the colors but not to the extent of other pieces I have done. The first thing I did with this photo was crop it so that the focus of the photo was the elephant’s eye.
After I focused on the eye, I brightened up the colors. After that, I flip the photo and print it backwards from the original so that when I paint it, the painting will be reverse but it'll be the same way as the original photo.
After the photo is edited to my liking and in a way in which I feel I can paint it, I send it to Staples for printing. Most photo prints are a dollar or less but when I need them poster size, it becomes more because they have to use different paper. After I have the printed copy of my edit, I tape it to the back of the glass or the plexiglass and begin painting. A majority of the pieces I've done are a combination of sharpie marker and acrylic paint.The painting on my website called Abstract Glasses is completely acrylic paint. Sometimes I use sharpie paint pens as well. I try to use acrylic paint more than the paint pens or sharpie markers but I like to mix the mediums. What's neat about this whole process is that it's hard for me to really be able to track what progress I've made so sometimes I won't see what a piece looks like until it's done. I can see where I've put sharpie marker on the glass but adding the paint behind it always changes it. I can gauge the progress but I never really know now apiece is going to turn out and most of the time that's fun for me because I get to have a moment when the piece is done and I can admire how it turned out. I add a layer of paint at the end sothe sharpie becomes more visible. For this piece, I did use a lot of sharpies but I used paint pens for the metallic parts and acrylic paint for all the large sections of color.
This is the final piece! It never quite turns out how I expect it to but I'm almost always satisfied with the results. This piece is going to end up in my niece Sienna's room. Thanks for stopping by and reading and if you have any questions about the process or for me in general, feel free to send me a message!