Many people are confounded by the prospect of painting a transparent object. It’s actually not that difficult. You just have to train yourself to see the details of what’s in front of you, and not to get side-tracked into thinking about transparency. You simply observe all of the little irregular shapes and colors before you without worrying about what they are or where they’re reflected from. I might says to myself “This little shape looks like a crescent. It’s a sort of bluish green color that’s darker than the black line to the right of it.” Soon, you stop thinking about transparency, and are just a recording machine, seeing colors and shapes, darkness and lightness. It seems like a little miracle, when you finally step back after working for a while, and see that it actually looks like glass!
This is just my first attempt at getting the basic shapes and colors in the glass bowl painted. The next time I work on it, it’ll be much easier for me to see and paint additional shapes and colors, because I’ll have a basic framework set down. Having a few things in place makes it easier to see how additional details fit in. This base gives my eye a place to settle and to compare it with new observed data. This is the beauty of a layered approach to oil painting. You don’t have to see everything at once. Each session of studying reveals more and more detail.