How To Paint Transparent Glass

Take A Loose Approach On Hot Press Paper

Painting glass objects is easier than it seems. The key is to paint the objects you see through the glass and the way their shapes are distorted by and reflected in the glass.

Paint What You See Through

Transparent glass is seen only because we see other objects through, under and reflected in the surface of the glass.  Thick glass the edges and base also seem less transparent and so they add to the sense of form. With a subject like this, there is a tendency to draw every detail and render each singly and carefully.  Unless done with skill, this method can fall flat.

In this lesson we’ll really focus on capturing a likeness by capturing key elements – edges, reflections and distortions.  Think of this as the ‘painterly’ approach that is really more concerned with the illusion rather than a photo-realistic rendering.

The Paper Will Help

To enhance fluidity and looseness in the painting, we’ll work on Hot Press paper.  This is a tricky surface that creates a textural look of it’s own. It’s difficult to control – but the point is not to keep control, but allow the fluidity to produce a randomness that will ultimately look just right.   If Hot Press paper is new to you, it may be difficult at first. But, keep at it, and rein in the impluse to control!

What you’ll need:

  • Brushes –  Large Round,  Medium RoundSmall Round
  • Colors – Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Ultramarine Blue and Thalo Blue
  • Watercolor paper – preferably Arches 140lb HOT PRESS

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