"Porcelain painting", "china painting", "overglaze painting", and "mineral painting" are interchangeable terms referring to the art of painting on porcelain with special mineral-based powdered paints and firing them in a kiln to temperatures hot enough to soften the glaze and fuse the color with the glaze.

   These paints are mixed to a toothpaste-like consistency and applied with copaiba oil base medium. They are transparent and are applied in layers with a firing between applications to temperatures usually from around 1300 degrees Fahrenheit to 1650 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the colors used, shine desired, addition of enamel work, gilding, etc. Usually, finished pieces have had a minimum of three fires to build up color to the depth needed, with extra firings for raised paste and gold.

   The same art principles that apply to oil, watercolor, and acrylic painting apply also to porcelain painting. And the same subjects usually painted on canvas may be painted on porcelain, ie. portraits, landscapes, naturalistic florals, fruits, still lifes, geometrics, and abstracts. Part of the challenge for the porcelain artist is to create pleasing designs for different shapes; eg. painting winding roses on a plate, a picture, a square vase, and an octagonal box lid.

   Porcelain painting is a fascinating and wonderful art form. It challenges our creativity and becomes a passion, pushing all other pastimes, hobbies, and activities to the background. I've been painting for fourteen years and I'm still waiting to paint that elusive masterpiece. In the meantime, I keep practicing and practicing and ...


Lady In the Garden d'apres San Do



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