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Old 04-09-09, 05:10 PM
Anna Varvara Anna Varvara is offline
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Default Orthodox icons - glass technique

Hello everyone!

I'm new to the forum and i need some tips because i'm a beginner .I painted once(some years ago)an orthodox icon on glass surface,in hurry, and now i want to do it again but in a better way.The respective icon i made years ago has deteriorated,i mean the tempera cracked so i washed it and i started another icon 3 weeks ago.My questions are:

1.I made the lines with drawing ink(and some sharp sticks for barbeque)but when i apply the colours,these ink lines are spreading in the tempera.Somebody told me to boil the ink with some sugar,in order to become more resisting,so...what you think?Is this a good idea?Or there may be another solution?

2.I don't use powder pigments with egg emulsion as i saw at other people,but tempera(at tubes) with an emulsion composed of egg yolk,water,vinegar and boiled linseed oil.How much emulsion should i add to the tempera?The combination of this emulsion and tempera leaves brush marks even i put a little on glass or a lot but i think i can manage this.Is the egg emulsion(only egg yolk,water and vinegar) more effiicient than the one with boiled linseed oil?

3.It's kinda early to ask this,but what kind of varnish do you recommend me to this type of painting?


I hope somebody will help me Initially i wanted to do this icon for my boyfriend,to give him for his birthday but i don't know if i finish it until then.Also,if you have more tips to give me(about different things that i didn't mention them above) it's ok,i will be glad!

Last edited by Anna Varvara; 05-09-09 at 08:58 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-09-09, 08:04 PM
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paintrman paintrman is offline
Kelley Vandiver
 
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Anna, welcome!!!

Ideally, glass isn't a good surface to paint on if you are at all worried about longevity. As you mentioned, the paint in your last attempt is already cracking! I went to a lecture recently where the focus was on copper as a painting surface. The point was that copper is supposed to be the best surface to paint on because there are so many paintings from the Renaissance that were painted on copper that have lasted in near perfect condition. However, that hasn't been my experience. Copper and glass are very slick and that is one of primary reasons why paintings fail (no tooth for the paint to stick to). I think using a little bit of oil will help the paint adhere to the glass surface but the bleeding you are getting from the ink is only to be expected. You might try doing the drawing with a brush and sepia or black oil-egg emulsion and then put it in the sun for a few days to let it cure. It won't run then. I think this sounds like a lot of work on something that might fall apart or crack in a few years. Why not try a wood panel with traditional gesso? It will last infinitely longer and your boyfriend can enjoy it that much longer....
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Old 05-09-09, 12:11 AM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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The paintings on copper were universally oil paintings. They can be recognised by their tiny size (copper was expensive back then too) and unusually bright blues and greens (The copper-based bright greens of the Renaissance have mostly deteriorated into transparent blackish-brown -- which is why so much foliage in Leonardo's and Botticelli's work looks dark brown when originally it was bright pale green -- but somehow on a copper panel this doesn't seem to happen).

I experimented a little with painting on copper, but you really need to rough up the surface first, then prime it with white lead in linseed oil -- I was willing to do that, but not to sand it to the smoothness necessary, so net result one very rough-surfaced little oil painting.

I'm not sure I can recommend painting on metal. There is a tradition in the Scandinavian and German countries of painting on glass -- hinterglass malerei, I think it's called -- but I don't know the medium they used.
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Old 05-09-09, 09:29 AM
Anna Varvara Anna Varvara is offline
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Well, thank you for the welcome!!

for paintrman: I forgot to say,in my last attempt I didn't use emulsion on the whole surface(just in some places)...I have just put the tempera on a glass and I think this was my mistake.Now I want to use it.So,about the ink,I will try mixing it with egg-oil emulsion...maybe 1:1 will do.
I was thinking at painting on wood panel but i don't know the technique.I have only learned to paint icons on glass in school and i have already the materials so this is why i'm still trying.I'm not at all experimented in wood method,and i find it kinda difficult to paint on copper .

for Alessandra:Yes it's called hinterglasmalerei.If you search on wikipedia in English you will find reverse glass painting.There says "This style of painting is found in traditional Romanian icons originating from Transylvania".....and Transylvania is a region of my country.
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Old 05-09-09, 03:40 PM
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paintrman paintrman is offline
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Anna, when I re-read my posts, I am always so shocked at how I sound as if I know the solution to all of life's problems when in actuality, I know almost nothing! Painting egg tempera on copper isn't a good idea!!! Please forget that I mentioned copper! Copper does go with oil painting (oil painting used to be my specialty before I stumbled upon egg tempera and was lost!) but not egg tempera. I know very little about painting on glass but I am sure it can be done successfully. I say go for it! I will check out the information you sent in your last post to see what it is all about. I do however stand by my previous post and suggest that eventually...in the future, you think about switching to more permanent techniques. Plus, painting on wood panels can be a blast.

Hope to see you around here more often!

Anna, I checked the link you provided and the Romanian Icons are beautiful! I wish the explanation was a little longer because I found the history fascinating! Good luck.

Last edited by paintrman; 05-09-09 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 05-09-09, 08:15 PM
Anna Varvara Anna Varvara is offline
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Thanks paintrman for your suggestions!What can i say...I'm so frustrated because i have ruined this attempt too...but i hope someone will give me a solution or some tips,i will think at this more.It's complicated to paint on wood panels but as i told you,maybe i will try when i will have a chance.I'm glad that you like our icons!

I'm still waiting ideas and opinions!!
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Old 06-09-09, 04:46 PM
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RobM RobM is offline
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Hi Anna and welcome to our forums.
Sorry but I can't help as I've no experience of painting on glass. There is a very good site that is devoted to Icon painting....don't know if you have tried looking at that.....don't want to loose you but they are at
http://www.iconofile.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi
Use both of us if you can get the solution to your problem.
Good luck......
Rob
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Old 06-09-09, 11:48 PM
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KHart KHart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Varvara View Post
Thanks paintrman for your suggestions!What can i say...I'm so frustrated because i have ruined this attempt too...but i hope someone will give me a solution or some tips,i will think at this more.It's complicated to paint on wood panels but as i told you,maybe i will try when i will have a chance.I'm glad that you like our icons!

I'm still waiting ideas and opinions!!
When I worked in advertising art and graphics, many years ago, we would add a little dishwashing liquid soap - just a few drops - to any paint, or ink, or gouache that we wanted to paint onto a very glossy surface. This not only enabled it to adhere, but prevented it from crawling and beading. I actually add a little dishsoap [the bottled type not for machines] into the water I use in egg tempera and I think this helps give the glazes more body but that could be just my wishful thinking. At any rate, I know it helps prevent crawling, etc. on glossy surfaces. Cheers.
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Old 07-09-09, 11:38 AM
Anna Varvara Anna Varvara is offline
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Thank you RobM!Of course,you won't loose me but i will check the site.

Dishsoap?The one in bottles,you know...for washing dishes?I didn't know about this method,i think i will make a try because you made me so curious.Thank you!
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  #10  
Old 07-09-09, 01:35 PM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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While I believe dish soap would make paint adhere better to smooth surfaces, since it reduces surface tension, it probably isn't a good painting practice since it saponifies the paint (i.e. turns it into soap!) , which means that the paint will be more water-soluble and subject to washing off in later years.

Remember, advertising art, design and graphics were never meant to be permanent. When I was a student, I was really annoyed that while watercolors, intended for fine artists, had identified, relatively permanent pigments meant to last, gouache paints, intended for designers, had only color descriptions -- no ingredients list -- and a lot of bright but obviously impermanent pigments intended only for temporary advertising displays.

Surely there's a better way?
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