October 21, 2007

My experiences with glass painting

Last week I completed my first decent glass painting. First because the earlier attempt had turned into disaster. I remember buying a glass painting kit, some colors and hastily setting off to make the first painting just days before my marriage. I couldn't get the outline correctly and I kept getting bubbles everywhere in the color. Frustrated, I had given up that project like many others.

The motivation
A dear friend H took an online class for glass painting through an Orkut community. She provided excellent links for patterns and videos on how to do glass painting. Through a Yahoo conference, she showed us the entire process with the help of a webcam. Her inputs and this video helped me immensely in completing my project.

The project
The first thing you need to do is select a pattern for your painting. Several websites provide glass painting designs. I selected a pattern called 'Lady with flowers'.

The execution
Materials required for glass painting project:

  1. A design: Can be downloaded from different websites. Do a Google check for 'Glass painting patterns'.

  2. A glass: The best option is to buy a photo frame from Dollar shop. You will get both the glass and frame for one dollar. But first, take a print out of the design and buy a glass of the required size.

  3. Glass painting colors: I bought Plaid Gallery Glass Window color kit for 10$ from Michaels. This included the black outline and five colors (Amber, Ruby red, Blue, White, and Green). Individual bottles cost 2$ each approximately.

  4. A brush and a palette: To mix colors and apply them.

  5. A plastic bag for outlining: To get thin lines

  6. Aluminium foil: Serves as a background for the glass and elevates the effect.

  7. Cotton ball: To clean outline if it smudges

  8. Pin: To prick bubbles formed while applying colors.

  9. Newspaper: Keep this below the glass while applying outline and color.

Total cost of all materials: 15$ apprx. (The colors can be used for other designs)

How to proceed?

  1. After you have all the materials, you can get started. Spread a newspaper before starting your project. This will avoid spilled colors for spoiling your carpet. Place the design (paper) below the glass.

  2. Trace the design on the glass using the black outliner. If you use the outline directly from the bottle, you will get thick ugly lines. To avoid this, take a Ziploc or any plastic bag. Pour the black outline color in this bag. Make a small hole in one corner. Push the color in this corner and use it like a cone. You will get really neat and thin lines. I would highly recommend this method. At any point if the design smudges or goes wrong, you can clean it using a wet cotton ball.

  3. Once the outline is completed, let it dry for 1-2 days.

  4. Apply colors directly from the bottle. Start at one point and move up in a zigzag fashion. Alternatively, you can use the brush to apply colors. Pour the color in a palette and apply them with a brush. You can mix different colors together and also make lighter/darker shades of one. If you get bubbles while applying colors, prick them using a pin.

  5. Now remain the finishing touches. Take an aluminium foil bigger than the glass. Crumple it. Place it below the glass and then place both of them in the frame. This step is optional; the aluminium foil adds a different effect to the painting.

  6. Your glass painting project is now complete. Take a look at my finished painting.

(Lady with flowers)
The feeling

I felt triumphant after looking at this lady. Sure, there is room for improvement, but she looks elegant and beautiful. The project was fun to do. I will surely be doing loads of glass painting in the future.