Here’s an important tip for when you paint an undercoat or “wash” or “matt” (or however you call it) …
Undercoats – an important tip
OK – so take a few moments to check this photo just below:
See anything special?
What do you reckon?
Actually, there’s nothing special: that’s the point. I’ll explain why in just a moment.
For now, let’s list the four top reasons why you should always consider painting an undercoat before you trace:
- It’s a lovely surface to trace on – far nicer than bare glass
- You know all of the glass is free from grease (proof: it’s covered with an undercoat)
- The undercoat reminds you to keep your fingers to the edges and away from the surface where you want to paint – so your glass stays clean, even over several days
- When you’ve finished your tracing, you can cut through the undercoat with sticks, scrubs and fingers, and so make highlights in a single firing … gorgeous, and economical as well
There you have it: four excellent reasons why you should always consider painting an undercoat before you trace. It isn’t always right. But you must always consciously decide to (or not).
Now, what was peculiar about the photo? Like I said, nothing in particular. And that’s the point.
Like, when you trace, you don’t usually hold your glass (usually, you hold your bridge). See here:
When you flood and block in, you don’t usually hold your glass (once again, you mostly hold your bridge):
Even when you silver stain … yes, you got it! You don’t usually hold your glass:
And it’s no different when you come to undercoating – that’s the point:
Now this is important because when most people undercoat, I don’t know what happens: maybe they imagine their glass will wriggle away unless they grasp it and pin it down.
But that means they’re being too heavy-handed with their brush.
When the brush is well loaded and well shaped, then you only need the slightest bit of pressure against the glass for the paint to flow.
Undercoating – it’s virtually hands-free
And that is why, even when you undercoat, you scarcely need to touch your glass. This is actually the proof you need that your paint is well mixed and your brush is well loaded and correctly shaped:
Your hand’s just there to steady the glass in case it wobbles. But it probably won’t.
Really, mix the paint well, then load and shape your brush – and I reckon you can do it with your hand behind your back.
Give it a try, and let me know!