I remember my first time painting a glass bottle with the seemingly impossible task of depicting the transparency and the endless shapes of reflections and inclusions. “Bottle Painting is overwhelming” was a common thought in the process.
However, while working on that piece I realized that this complex object is nothing more than just an array of simple shapes in various colours and values. Next thing you know, you step back and realize you’re done and think to yourself, “Wow, did I just paint that?”.
I painted a single bottle of olive oil over a period of about 40 minutes for a video demonstration that is just under 4 minutes (see below) to put on my YouTube channel. You will see that I put more effort into painting the olive oil and the cork than I do the actual glass bottle.
I had the advantage of the bottle being clear and not having to worry about coloured glass so I could just paint the background without any colour adjustment.
I would encourage everyone to paint a clear glass bottle. It won’t just give you the experience to paint a glass bottle but it will help change the way you see objects while you paint. Instead of a barn, it will be five shapes of various colours and value. Instead of a flower, it will be multiple shapes of value, colour and temperature. Once you start to see objects as shapes, painting becomes much more enjoyable and productive.
Give it a try.