FIRST: I sandblasted it. I did use a hand-cut stencil (3 ml clear contact paper)...however, after all I've done to it, I didn't really need it. FYI: it was the silhouette of the plants and the birds. I could have easily gotten away with just a light allover even blast.)
SECOND: I used a flex shaft engraver to delineate the plants.
THIRD: I decided I should paint NOW rather than later. Why? Because this glass strikes a little in firing. So what I did was wipe the whole square down with 1059 Stencil Black Reusche. And wipe it off so it left a tone atop the sandblasted turquoise. This will help a LOT with getting a nice dynamic range of tone--even thought the black is close to invisible. I swear, it makes a huge difference.
FORTH: I began to engrave the highlights with the flex shaft.
FIFTH: I went into the engraved highlights and softened them by using a diamond file. This is how all the volumetric tones are achieved.
SIXTH: I ground off the sky with the flex shaft. Then I went and took a walk.I saw a pretty red House Finch on Bainbridge St. (BTW--I have been working on this piece of glass for four days straight.)House Finch (not my pic)SEVENTH: I began to work into the background using a 1/2" one of THESE. Important note: the link takes you to a potentially wonderful product that has some issues. This is the 1" version and I have both that and 1/2" which I think they stopped making. BIG MISTAKE!! The 1" version is TOO BIG for detailed work. Call HIS and ask for 1/2 inch! Plus they attach to the shank with velcro. This has hilarious results as the abrasive discs wing themselves across the universe and get lost somewhere after traveling through a wormhole where all your socks end up after they get lost int he laundry. Useless!!! SO...I silicone them onto the rubber thing on the shank. Velcro and all. This isn't a perfect solution but its adequate.