Articles by Larry White

Faux Granite Execution In Reverse On Glass / Faux Marble Execution In Reverse On Glass

By Larry White

· Draw all vein locations on the front of the glass with a grease pencil. 80% of the veins, which will appear heavier (thicker), will run from left to right, top to bottom, diagonally. 20% of the veins will be created thinner and run right to left, top to bottom in the opposite diagonal direction.

· Choose a pallet of 3 colors. Colors close in value will produce an evenly toned background, which is recommended for designs with a lot of detail. Colors with different values will produce a more detailed, contrasting marble. For a subtle, pale type background use colors with the same value. Japan colors are the best choice in paint type for producing the faux marble.

· Mix 3 tones of the desired color, a dark tone, a light tone, and a middle tone. The middle tone is typically created my mixing the light and dark tones together. Any one, or more, of the 3 tones' color may be slightly altered to produce a stronger contrast. Test the mixed colors on a scrap of glass to ensure the color is correct. Note: Clear static cling vinyl can be applied over the back of the piece so that the colors can be tested on the actual artwork. When the correct colors are achieved, and the marble ready to be executed, the static cling can be removed and discarded.

· Extend the open time of the 3 tones of paint with Smith's Cream, typically about 35-40% in volume. The paint can also be extended with slow size, linseed oil, or in combination.

· Prior to the application of the faux marble technique, it is recommended that the entire piece be sealed with shellac. Windows for pictorials should be masked off with static cling vinyl, which should be removed after the colors are blocked in.

· Apply paint with 1" cubes of household sponge moistened with water and thoroughly wrung out, one for each color and one for blending. Sponge the dark tone to the underside of the vein creating large "continent" shaped areas. Sponge the light tone to the upper side of the veins in the same manner. Block these colors in a freeform manner with some clear spaces between the continent shapes. Next, sponge the middle tone paint over the dark, light, and open areas. Then, viewing the glass from the front, while working on the back (the rotating glass easel works good here), take the last clean sponge and press the middle tone into the darker and lighter tones. Continue to work the middle tone paint into the light and dark paint until the desired effect is achieved. Do not overwork the paint so that it smoothly blends together; keep the stippled grainy effect achieved by the texture of the sponge showing in the paint colors.

· Next add the veining by removing the paint using the sketched lines and the intersection of the light and dark areas as a guide. Again viewing from the front, but working on the back, take a paper stick q-tip and cut it into a chisel shape. Using this chisel shape q-tip; gently remove the paint where you want the veining to appear. Rotate the q-tip to alter the thickness of the veining. Remember to make the 80% ones bolder and the crossing ones finer. Having some light reflect off some white paper under the glass will aid in seeing the veining appear as the paint is removed with the q-tip. Once the veining has been created to the desired appearance, allow the paint to completely dry. Take the remaining dark, light and middle tones of paint and combine them together so that you create enough middle tone paint to paint over the entire piece once the veining has been painted in.

· After the initial paint application has completely dried, tint the veining lines with some transparent glaze. A thinned asphaltum and clear varnish is usually a good glaze to use. Sponge this glaze in random areas over the open areas of the veining. Keep it subtle, doesn't over do it. Perhaps about 20% of the veining should be glazed. This glaze step will give the veining some depth, rather than it being one straight tone. After the glazing is dry, back up the veining with a contrasting color. After the veining color is dry, back up the entire piece with the middle value paint.

· This technique requires a bit of practice. Allow your hand to do the work, rather than your brain. The more freeform and natural the better the end result. It never hurts to study actual marble and attempt to replicate it.

An alternate suggestion is to create the 3 colors as glazes and block in the glazes in repeated sessions, allowing it to dry in between. These glazes can then be backed up with shades of gray paint or even leaf. Baking it up with leaf adds a reflectiveness that produces a very deep looking marble. With this method, veining will be needed to be applied with the feather technique. Alternate the glaze and veining applications and you can achieve a marble where the veins appear to meander in and out of the marble. With this method you can also employ darker areas under certain aspects of the design if desired.

Step-by-Step Informational Outline by Larry White / Articles by Rick Glawson / More Articles

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