Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Painting Angels

Suddenly there is a lot of work to do!

This is a sketch for two angel faces I am painting on glass for John Forbes at Bonny Doon Art Glass. I occasionally do painted glass work there, most recently on the Golden Butterfly.

These Angel faces are for a beveled glass oval dome, and are the only painted pieces - the rest being custom slumped beveled glass, thats why the face is the only shaded area on the sketch and the rest is the lines, or 'cartoon' to show where the glass will be cut. I need to do a detailed pencil drawing such as this before I start to paint on the actual glass, as I follow the drawing very closely.

Painting on glass is also a kind of reverse to tonal drawing, in that I cover the glass with pigment, and them slowly remove the darkness, as opposed to building it it, as you would with pencil on paper. Because of that, I need to know what my 'end result' is supposed to look like, before I start, otherwise it would be very hard. It's bad enough that the pigments used to paint on glass feel like you are painting with cocoa powder - they are very difficult to work with, and have no tolerance for mistakes. If you make a tiny wrong mark, or scratch, or even drop a tiny dot of water on it - it can ruin a day's work. All adds to the stress! But also to the satisfaction, when you get it right.

Each face will be fired at 1150 degrees several times, as I build up the layers of paint. I am up to three firings so far, and there will be several more, including stain and enamel firings at a lower temperature.

I will post pictures of the glass once they come out the kiln!

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