Black Mirror For Painters

Oil Painting Tool: How to make a black mirror

Assuming you know how to use a black mirror to check your values in painting from life- here are simple instructions on how to make a cheap one.

Purchase a narrow, empty black frame with glass….like you’re going to frame a family photo or certificate.  You’ll also need matte black spray paint and newspapers and a messy work area.

Take the backing off the frame and lay the frame and glass face down on a sheet of newspaper. With adequate ventilation, evenly spray the back of the frame and glass- or remove the glass and spray it on one side only.  Use several thin coats- not 1 thick one. Try not to spray thickly enough for the paint to pool.  Check between newly dry coats to see when the glass reflects darkly but no longer has transparent spots.  When you can't see through it- and you see a good, but darker reflection in it, you are finished.  Put the backing on again and use it!

Thimgan Hayden

website of Michigan portrait artist and painter of still life, landscape, Italian and American, and floral subjects.