The Technique of Glass Painting

A two- to three-millimetre thick piece of glass is first cleaned.

The drawing is made directly on the glass with pen and India ink. Some artists use very fine brushes and black paint. The drawing may be done from imagination or transferred from a sketch.

Signatures and captions are written on the back (mirror writing) because the glass is displayed in reverse. It should be noted that the first "souwériste" painters neither signed nor dated their work.

Then the paint is applied. In contrast to classical painting technique, glass painting starts with the detail and ends with the background. Because the painting is seen "under glass", the details will appear on the surface and are thus must be the first to be painted. Oil paints thinned with solvent or synthetic thinner are used.

After being dried in the shade, paintings then are placed on a cardboard background on which several cotton strands are wound and then looped to form hangers. The cardboard is cut to the same dimensions as the glass and is attached with a strip of double-sided adhesive paper that sticks to the edges of the glass and the edges of the cardboard at the same time.
Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily"
Canadian Heritage Information Network

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans