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Stained Glass Window Art

Saptakee Sengupta
Staining glass for creating artistic designs is an age-old technique. Today, it has become a common decorative setting for many households, where people love to customize windows and other types of glass pieces with a varied range of colors and themes. We have provided you a simple guide to this art form, read on...
Staining glass is a brilliant art form that originated in Rome and Egypt. Gothic cathedrals in France and England had explicitly designed window art, that gained much popularity in the medieval period.
Glass windows and artifacts were beautifully enamored with colors, and the classical style further spread to Belgium and Germany during the reformation and renaissance period. This art form received an industrial boost, and today, artistically designed glass works are largely used for the purpose of interior decoration.

Stained Glass Window Art: An Overview

Staining glass is not as difficult as it seems to be. Although painters and sculptors, during the medieval and renaissance period, excelled in this art and adopted various sophisticated techniques to attain perfection, you can still carry it out at home with some simple techniques. Kids can utilize this concept for their craft projects once they know the process. We explain you some easy-to-do techniques over here.

Choice of Paint

Glass could be stained with a wide range of colors. Beginners can opt for oil pastels and crayons to create outlines and also for filling. Errors while drawing can easily be eliminated with a pastel color eraser. You can opt for acrylics or oil paints to create a long-lasting effect. Oil paints fix perfectly on glass, rending a shine to the artwork.
Traditional paintings were basically done with typical window stains like vinegar trace paints, silver paints and matte paints. Vinegar trace paint is a dark stain that is used for the purpose of blocking light wherever needed. Borders and fine features are usually emboldened with vinegar paints.
Matte paints offer a much finer finish, and are used for creating textures by differential blending techniques. Silver stains produce a shimmering effect and it adds elegance to glass works. Thus, the choice of paint depends on the nature of your painting, the chosen theme, and the effect you want to produce.

Themes for Glass Windows

If you want to emulate the Gothic themes of medieval times, then you must look into masterpieces like Chartres Cathedral, 'Christ in Majesty' from Strasbourg Cathedral La Sainte-Chapelle and Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The intricate designs are indeed difficult to produce, and you need years of experience to master them.
Some quick and easy themes that could be opted for are celestial, floral, beach, and Christmas themes. Kids can paint cartoons, angels and fairies on glass windows. If your window is facing the lawns and greenery present outside your house, then you can stain with colors that will reflect green colors and would also blend well with nature.
Tiffany style glass windows are classy, and they are enamored with multiple shades and colors. No matter what theme you choose, make sure that it matches up the interiors as well as the outside view of your house. Stained glass window clip art contains traditional designs for windows and their borders. Modern glass windows containing contemporary themes have become an essential setting of many houses.

How to Paint

The techniques depend upon the type of paint you are using. Window glass staining kits are available in hardware stores, and they are equipped with primary films, paints and brushes. Clubbing glass pieces together on the surface of an adhesive film is a tricky process that requires immense expertise.
You can first sketch the design on a tracing paper before applying the paint directly onto the glass, and then draw the same on the glass window with a glass marker. The process of application of oil paints and crayons on a glass is similar to that of applying on a canvas. You can blend the paints with gum so that it adheres to the substrate permanently.
Vinegar paint is first diluted with water to create a smooth composition, and then it is mixed with gum arabic. The glass surface and the paint brush should be adequately moist before applying the paint.
A tracing paint of moderately light tone is used to sketch the figures roughly on which the matte paint is applied by hand or with a broad bristled brush. Sections that require to be filled up with heavy coats are usually given matte finishes. Allow the glass to dry completely so that the color doesn't come out.
Stained glass window art requires years of practice to attain perfection. The techniques and process that have been explained in this article are easy to perform. You can understand the complexities and finer details only if you study the glass staining techniques in depth. Window glasses when enamored with beautiful designs are capable of uplifting the décor of house to a great extent.