'During the six years I have been painting in watercolour, there are two subjects that I return to regularly and they are metal and glass still life,' says Diana Boanas.

The inspiration

'My subjects are not set up especially for painting but often, when a scene or object catches my eye, I alter the position of items for maximum composition and light catching properties. I take many photographs during which the design, composition and lighting of a painting is planned.

'The reflections on metal surfaces fascinate me with their often, mirror like qualities and in contrast, glass almost absorbs colours from its surroundings and has the ability to distort objects seen through it. In this article, I am concentrating on the painting of glass and will focus on metal reflections at a future date.

'Watercolour is an ideal medium for painting transparent glass. Its translucency describes transparency and has the versatility to paint soft and hard lines necessary in painting the textures and shapes within.

'Below you can follow a simple demonstration to paint a glass jar but, before that, here are some examples of my paintings of glass'.

To retain the sharp, clear appearance of the glass object within a still life painting, the surrounding is painted in a softer wet in wet style. The Red Cheese Grater illustrates the beautiful distortion of the draining rack and grater as seen through the glass jug.

In this example, Glass Jars on Beech, the glass base of the furthest jar displays a translucency while absorbing the turquoise green hue of its surroundings. Again, there is dramatic tonal contrast within the shadows and highlights with harder lines being used on the jar lids.

A dark and simple background highlights the textures and highlights of the glass and was broken up with the lifting of paint to suggest utensils and kitchen items.

I love the colours from the Fairy Lights reflected in the glass at the top of the stems.

There is distortion of the perspective of the tiles when seen through the glass and a beautiful collection of shapes where the glasses overlap each other.

In Mincemeat Preparation, a painting of glass and cutlery in a ceramic sink, a similar sequence was used in positioning the harder dark lines and highlights prior to using a very loose and watery wash for the background.

The warmer background and blues of the gas flame are visible as reflected colour in these jars. Masking fluid was limited to the very fine lines, as in the example piece below, and there is a subtle indication of objects seen through the glass.

Loose and softer areas emphasise the cold, hard texture of the glass.

The process of painting a wine glass and how to paint a glass jar