Cliche Verre Process Follow these Instructions!

Cliché Verres–You can also make cyanotypes-salt prints-and hand color these !! Many possiblities to bridge drawing and photography and painting all in one.


Coat glass with ink or opaque paint (blacks) and then scratch out drawing–you can add and combine objects or even negatives as well. Anything goes.   Water based nail polish would be good to try like Scotch naturals—which could be wiped away–also interesting to use with color paper as well–or scan the plates and print out inkjets.

About Morell’s work above:    more here

Translated from French, ‘cliché-verre’ means glass picture. The 19th century French painters Corot, Millet, Daubigny and others, used this method of making pictures, which involves creating a hand made negative. These artists took pieces of flat glass, smoked them with a lit candle, and drew images in the soot-covered surface with a sharp pointed instrument. Then they would place the glass over a sheet of photographic paper and expose it to light.

When light passes through the clear parts of the glass that is scratched, it produces a line drawing in black on a white background. Contact prints made from these negatives have a wonderful sense of belonging to the realms of both drawing and photography.

In my own cliche-verre work, I coat glass plates with several layers of ink to form interesting tonal densities. With ideas of creating a series of invented vegetative worlds, I pressed cuttings of ferns and cycads in half dried ink on glass plates. The finished negatives are then digitally scanned and printed. The images that I’m most happy with are the result of multiple pressings and repeated inking which, to my eye, border on chaos. Making cliche-verre images gives me a welcome opportunity to play with painting and drawing in the most rudimentary way; as a photographer, it’s nice to be able to get my hands dirty.

The relationship between photography and drawing goes back to photography’s birth. In 1833,Fox Talbot, frustrated by a clumsy drawing he made with a camera lucida in Lake Como, Italy, had the brilliant idea to “fix” an image he remembered seeing on the ground glass of a portable camera obscura he used in an earlier outing. Later, at home in England, that “fix” resulted in the invention of photography.


Hand Colored Cliche Verre Print Parker Fine art
Peter Feldstein   Interesting work



Cliché verre is a combination of painting and or drawing, with photography. In brief, it is a method of either etching, painting or drawing on a transparent surface, such as glass, thin paper or film and printing the resulting image on a light sensitive paper in a photographic darkroom. It is a process first practiced by a number of French painters during the early 19th century. The French landscape painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was the best known of these. Some contemporary artists have developed techniques for achieving a variety of line, tone, texture and color by experimenting with film, frosted Mylar, paint and inks and a wide assortment of tools for painting, etching, scratching, rubbing and daubing. Scratching a negative is another form of cliche verre. Many ways to get different designs for a cliche verre is too print a design off of the computer on to transparent paper. Or even scan a photo onto transparent paper and alter it that way before exposing it.

Cliché verre is French. Cliché is a printing term: a printing plate cast from movable type; while verre means glass.

Cliché verre was one of the earliest forms of reproducing images before the advent of the camera. As a precursor to photography, cliché verre could accurately represent the original scene without the tonal variations available in modern day photography.

Katarína Hutníková
Katarína Hutníková    a lot of interesting work here.. Jaromir Stephany   Jo Bradford Color Cliche Verre  Donald Short   cyano cliche verre  Courtney Johnson








Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s