Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring Window Paintings - Reverse Glass Technique

Window painting is a fun and eye-catching way to spruce up the window of a local business, and is also a unique and creative way to advertise your space. Changing the artwork every few months is a festive way of transitioning from one season into the next. Here, I swapped out the winter scene of the Druid's Keep into a floral toast to nature in the woods. I'll be making some adjustments (adding some birds, making the pint glass bigger and adjusting the bottom of his cloak) but here's the first version.

Reverse glass painting is an easy concept to grasp but a challenging technique to apply. A painter is used to putting down the larger blocks of color first, and the details and accents last. Your mindset must flip-flop in order to make a reverse glass painting visually successful. You also have to have a good idea of what knowing how the painting looks from the outside, since as you are painting you're looking at the back of the image. It's not uncommon for me to run outside in between layers to make sure what I'm putting down looks "right." (That's how you know I'm still an amateur!) The details and outline are created first, so you really have to know exactly what you're going for, otherwise you'll be painting, wiping off and repainting until you get it right. 

You can see that my mistakes here were matching the color of the Druid's robe, walking stick and tree (since I kept him for the winter scene, I was attempting to match the old paint color)

From the inside, it looked like the same color; when I popped my head outside, I realized I was way off! I also got the scale of his pint glass wrong (for now, the Druid will have to suffice with a half-pint of Cider).

For these floral paintings at Inner Beauty Salon in Bristol, PA, I did the bright green streaks of grass first, followed by the yellow dot of the flower buds. Then, I painted a darker green outline of the leaves, and a layer of darker green grass behind the brightest green. Next, I outlined the flower petals in a darker, bolder color. The final details are a lighter color inside the petals. 

To get the paint off, I used a paint scraper, textured rough sponge and water. I found this latex-based paint remover spray to be very effective in loosening up the layers of paint to remove from the window.

Follow me on Pinterest ( to see what will come next for the summer, and for inspiration for all seasons of window painting! 

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