The Magic of Backlit Art

I accidentally stumbled on to this after finishing up with etching on acrylic sheet, while I peeked through my inked sheet over a lamp. It most definitely is a fun and interesting way to perk up any space with LED or fluorescent lights, and apart from on the walls of your home, painting a lampshade or other transparent/semi-transparent enclosures around light sources are a great idea.

While a conventional painting has its own charm, the use of a semi-transparent or transparent medium like glass instead of a canvas lends its own charm to the colours by allowing natural light to pass through it. When placed with a back light, the art forms on the glass seem more magical and colours, so much more eye-catching!

Here is a backlit piece I attempted:Starry Night in new light, an acrylic painting Inspired by my photography buddies experimenting with fantastic star trails, and the immortal compositions of Vincent Van Gogh.

This was done on an acrylic sheet using acrylic paints, and with 000 size brushes for the strokes.


Here is how the painting developed from scratch.


I liked how the light worked on the blue tones, it however had changed the yellow ochres and light browns to a darker brown. I have been suggested to use only bright warm colours to avoid that mistake, and would suggest the same to any of the readers attempting the technique. Also, if you are working on a transparent base like glass, it becomes incredibly easy to trace or follow a pattern that you are particular about and work on it in layers.Depending on which areas you think should appear darker or lighter, the number of paint layers can be varied. I should add that it works brilliantly well with Cubist, pointille and other abstract styles that use strong forms and colour.

Here is an insightful read on utilizing backlit art technique for those interested, a DIY project shared from

So go ahead and have fun with creating stunning backlit art, would love to see other attempts on the same technique 🙂