I managed to get hold of this plain wooden mirror from Ikea off Ebay, very cheap, and an absolute gift for an artist! A wonderful surface to work on! I’ve got 4 more of these mirrors coming from Ebay, and I’ll probably be decorating them for Christmas presents.
In the picture it looks as if the actual mirror is recessed, but the surface is quite flat. The whole thing measures 10 inches square.
I painted it all over with a matt black water-based eggshell finish paint, and when this was dry, I painted it with crackle glaze. I have had this for some time, and bought it for home decorating – I would recommend this to anyone because you get a nice quantity and it’s much more economical than buying crafting crackle glaze with a famous name attached, and it does the job just as well! After this was dry, I painted over it with dove white emulsion paint also left over from a decorating project. It was brilliant – as it started to dry you could actually see the cracks starting to form! This is a really fun technique. You can use any colours for it, but they should be good and contrasting so that the effect shows up well.
This picture shows the cracking effect complete, with the masking tape still in place on the mirror while it dries. Here is a detail of the effect.
Here it is ready for painting.
I used fluid acrylic paints, using a flat brush about half an inch wide, using the one-stroke method, where you load each side of the brush with a different colour and create the flower petal with a single stroke of the brush, which automatically creates the shadows and highlights. I dipped the corner of the brush with the lighter red into a tiny amount of yellow to give a highlight on the edges of the poppy petals.
This is my first effort, and I’m not 100 percent satisfied – I have no doubt I will improve with practice! Here it is, finished.
It was hard to get the photo just right because the surface is slightly reflective, but I think you can get the idea. Hope she likes it!