What is Reverse Painting on Glass

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    Reverse painting on glass is an ancient form of art, developed in the far east.  It has been done for thousands of years.  Unlike traditional painting, where the background is laid in place first, the subject of the painting going in afterward, in reverse glass painting, the last thing that entered into the painting are, is painted in first.

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    In most, but not all cases, that would be the subject of the painting.  The exception to this might be a shadow, or maybe a reflected image, such as sunlight playing off an eye.  A mirrored image, such as would be found on the surface of water might also be an exception.


    There are only three components necessary to make glass.  These are silica, found in sand, calcium carbonate, found in limestone, and sodium carbonate.  Before man even walked the earth, glass was able to form naturally given the right circumstances.  One of these is a great amount of heat.  That may have been provided by lightening.


    Of coarse, man eventually took advantage of this after learning how to control the process.  The possibilities became endless, and many, many art forms grew and flourished,  all created with glass.

    There are many times when my finished work is a big surprise to me because it did not come out as expected.  The background is no less important only because it is painted last.  If the subject is facing right when painted, it will be facing left when viewed.

    Now, about paint.

    Over the years, so many different forms of paint have become available, that it would be close to impossible to keep track of them.  I began using oils as a child, and I guess it must be true what they say about old dogs.  I have tried my hand at acrylics, pastels and water colors, but continue returning to oils.  When painted on glass, they are permanent enough to stay where I put them in the first place, and this is what is needed for this art form.  So, as you can see, when the oil paints are used on glass, the result is some impressive work in reverse painting on glass.

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