Question Help me paint a reflection in a window
Christina Baer, Germany
Answer Sara replies
Digital painting techniques make it possible to depict reflections in glass in a relatively straightforward manner. Certainly, it’s much less laborious than taking the traditional media approach. And it’s all down to the use of layers.
When painting the reflection of a person in a window, remember that it’s not a mirror, which produces a sharp, well-defined image. A window works differently because of the transparent nature of glass. As such, a dark background on the other side of the window is what makes the reflection possible in the first place. Some aspects of the background will emerge in the reflection as part of the image, and so it’s important not to overdo the transparency effect. I keep in mind that glass is a glossy surface, but also fragile. Elements such as dirt, erosion and cracks will give it an even more realistic look.
I begin by laying down the sketch, starting with the environment, which I paint on the glass surface.
In the finished artwork we can see how the candle’s red light is predominant in the glass reflection.