Antique Glass Art Mirrors

Reverse Glass Art Technique

Reverse Glass History
Reverse Glass Technique
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As opposed to painting on a canvas, reverse art requires the artist to think and paint in reverse... from the detailed foreground to the gross backdrop... and in a mirror image of what the artist wants the viewer to see... including sunlight, shadows, and signatures. The normal end steps to a painting are the beginning steps in reverse art. 
Correct!  Designs are "built up" on the back of glass panes with the foreground being painted before the backdrop.  Further, asymmetrical scenes must be painted in a mirror image to be "right-reading" when view from the front of the glass. In artwork which is created on canvas, neither of these difficult requirements apply.
Reverse Painting is like a Hollywood make-up artist working from the false eyelashes down to the foundation in a reversing mirror.
As opposed to the art on canvas where background is first and details are last,
In reverse art, the smallest detail goes in first, the next smallest second and so on...   
Consider a little bird on a tree limb:
The placement of a little bird is not an after thought... it is the pressing thought!
The order is not... background, tree, limbs, leaves, bird... It is reversed... bird, leaves, limbs, tree, background.  Then, clouds come before the sky.  And even the sunlight and shading have to be considered in reverse.
There' s no room for a mistake... A mistake is only correctable by tossing out the glass, or wiping it clean. And, if the artist forgot to sign, or personalize the painting at the very start... s/he can "fuggedaboudit!"   Perfection starts with the first stroke!
There' s a chi-chi term for this art form; it's "Eglomise," named after Glomi, a French artist who painted in gold leaf on glass. Though Eglomise initially referred to gold-leaf on glass, the term is now used generically for art on any glass panel.
For those who see a reverse painting on glass for the very first time it can take a little while to realize that the subject has been painted on the surface of the glass itself.