Painting on glass differs from traditional canvas or paper as glass is non-absorbent. The paint is therefore placed on the surface via the paintbrush and texture is created by building up thicker outward layers of paint rather than a thicker inward soak into a porous canvas or paper.
Glass paint is created by mixing ground up or powdered clear glass with pigmented paint. The purpose of the ground up / powdered glass is that once painted on to the surface of a glass panel, this can be kiln fired – causing the glass powders to fuse with the glass panel and make the painted design permanent.
Back painted glass refers to any form of glass that is painted on the back face. The paint is therefore viewed in reverse through the glass. The advantage of this over a painting on canvas or paper is that the glass protects the painting from physical damage or fading.
Whilst back painting is most common, as the glass acts as a protective shield, the paint is sometimes applied to the front. An example of this is when gold paint is used to add detailing to a design such as etched glass.
Back painted glass design