How To

  • HT1           Gallery

    Glass painting reverse, the complete instructions for “Lady in Red” can be found by scrolling

    Many of my glass painting reverse are done in window sashes


    How to paint on glass in oils, this could take time: but it’s really worth the effort for those who like myself, do. It’s much too easy to make a big mess of what you’ve already worked hard on, if you don’t let the paint dry before you work on it again.

    If you’re going to work with water colors or acrylics, you should be able to work on it again the next day.

    No matter the medium, reverse painting on glass, and learning how to paint in reverse on glass, and the techniques involved, can be among other things, very rewarding.

    HT3 Reverse glass painting, “Train”; Window sash measures 30″ x 62″ The price is $225


    Allow me to introduce you to my “Lady in Red” reverse glass painting. Now, if you’re ready to try to paint on glass your own lady in red, or green, or any color you would like to have, get out your sheet of glass and paint, and I’ll be happy to walk you through it.

    I began this reverse glass painting with a material that for my first 8 years of painting on glass, I wasn’t even aware was available, let alone at the local art and crart store.

    This material is called “liquid lead”. It is sold in small bottles, not more than a couple ounces each. There is no actual lead in it, it’s only called this because it looks like such.

    This material is very thick paint, so you will have to put some pressure on while squeezing it out. The trick is to just barely allow the end of your ‘ribbon’ to touch the surface of the glass where you’d like to begin creating your pattern, moving the bottle above the glass to draw the out line of the main pattern.

    HT5how to paint in reverse on glass; demo 1

    After the liquid lead has a couple hours to dry your reverse glass painting, you can add a few details, such as the shadow on the upper part of the face.

    This would be just a shade or two darker than the color you will use for her face that reflects light.

    You may notice that I am using a barbeeque skewer to paint with. It’s my tool of choice for very fine details. Nobody said I couldn’t, and if they had, I probably wouldn’t have listened.

    Use what ever works for you. even if it’s q-tips.


    how to paint in reverse on glass; demo 2

    Now that the outline of your lady is complete, stop and think. What came in the pattern the very last. The lady walked in.

    But , She had to put on the dress before she could do that. And the hat and shoes.

    So, the dress, hat and shoes were the last thing in the pattern. They are now going to be the first things in the reverse glass painting.

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    how to paint in reverse on glass; demos 3 & 4

    This is the point at which I need to stop puttering at the details, and start giving that dress some real red.


    how to paint in reverse on glass; demo 5


    Now start at a place you really like, and give that dress some color.

    The folds that settle to the background are going to be darker, because they’re shadowed.

    The parts of the dress that blossom out, and are the closest to you are going to be the brightest in color. This is where the true reds, straight from the tube are splashed on the reverse glass painting.


    how to paint in reverse on glass; demo 6

    You’re going to need highlights, where the focus of the light touched the dress.

    Plant a splotch of white before you splash with the red. Too late? Not.

    Just take out your paint rag, wipe out that small area, put in the white, and don’t mix the red in too much. Just a little.


    how to paint in reverse on glass; demo7

    Now , you really need to give the dress in the glass painting reverse some time to dry. As I already said, some paints are very slow driers. Red may be even slower than white.

    Paint the rest of the lady, her arms neck, breasts, and face. Don’t worry a lot about details, because her poise and stance are the basis of the reverse glass painting.


    Glass Painting Reverse; demo 8

    Now, it’s time to start putting something behind the lady, so that we have a background for her to be in front of.

    The lady is the center of attention, so please don’t detract from her with excessive extravagence. We’re back to ‘just the facts maam’. Keep the pattern clean.

    She does require the pedistal for placement, and the step to stand on, but keep them low key. Don’t let them surround her.

    Right now, work with the complimentary colors for the background. The complimentary color of red is green.

    If there is any problem what so ever with this, a color wheel is very inexpensive at that same local art and craft store that we bought the other things at.


    Glass Painting Reverse; demo9

    Some where in the beginning, I forgot to mention that the last thing that goes in to a Glass Painting Reverse, is the first thing that should be painted in the pattern of it. That would be the signature.

    Sorry, but that is probably the first thing that should have happened. It’s been drilled into me since childhood that a painting must never be signed until it’s done.

    A few of my paintings never do get signed, because there is no room left. When you’re working in reverse, though, the last thing needs to be done first.

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    Glass Painting Reverse; demo 11

    This is the part where you just tie up the loose ends.

    You’re looking at the back side of the reverse glass painting. The side where you have put the paint on. hold it up to the light; there should be gaps, where there is no color, only a blank space, or it may be tiny shiney spots.

    If you followed the how to paint Glass Painting Reverse directions, the only gaps that are left should be fillable with nothing more than the same color you used for the furthest back background.

    If you need to cover the entire piece of glass with background color, that’s o.k. That side is going to be covered anyway, when you turn it over to the front side of the reverse glass painting.

    Hopefully, you will end up with something akin to this, if you follow the how to Glass Painting Reverse info!

    Wasn’t that nice? I’ll see you at the next glass painting reverse we decide to do together.

    If you would like to contact me about how to paint in reverse on glass, or about my reverse glass paintings, my email address is

    Glass Painting Reverse;and how reverse painting is to be done, even when starting out, you will realize that the last thing, or person in the final “picture”, must be painted in the front, so must be painted first. The background and sky, the things that were there first, will always be the last to be painted.

    The trees that started growing 80 years ago, will be painted quite a while after the sapling, and so on. Reverse painting on glass technique is really not that difficult once you train your mind to think backwards.


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