Monday, September 27, 2010

Using Crystalline Colors

Stained glass is not only done with transparent paints but we can also add variation to our work by the use of crystalline paints.Crystralline paints are comparatively light based and gives a crystal effect.

Things You Need:
  • Glass (any size and thickness you wish)
  • Craft knife(for cutting leads)
  • Liquid lead(available in bottles and tubes from arts and crafts shop)
  • Crystalline paints(available in variety of brands and shades from arts and crafts shop)
  • Thin marker(for tracing the design on the glass)
  • Paint brushes of various sizes.
Image by:

  1. Get your template and glass ready as done earlier  in stained glass using transparent colors.
  2. Trace the design and outline it in one of the two ways: either in one step with liquid lead or first copying the design on glass with trace paper and then making the outlines with the liquid lead. For details please follow: outlining techniques done in stained glass earlier.
  3. After the outlines of the design are completely dry, it’s time to fill in the colors but here the method is bit different.
  4. If you remember we mixed the transparent paints with the lacquer thinner and then started painting, but while using crystalline colors there is no such mixing involved, all we have to do is to fill the portion of the template to be painted with transparent crystalline color.
  5. After you have dropped the crystalline transparent color on the desired part using the back of your brush,quickly take another brush and dip it in the color you wish to fill in and start mixing it with the dropped crystalline transparent color.
  6. Once the design is painted and dried, reapply the liquid lead,let it completely dry.
    Image by:
  8. On completion of your project,you will notice that the design has crystal cuts that is adding to the beauty of the painting.

  • Transparent crystalline color is not the transparent paint, it is a crystalline paint with transparent appearance.
  • Please remember that we do not have to use so much of the color here while mixing it with the crystalline transparent color,all we want here is the effect of that color and not the overflow.
  • Also if you want to use  two different colors then remember to use light and dark colors,lighter shade on the top and darker shade on the base of the template

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stained Glass


Stained glass is one of  the oldest techniques of glass painting and have embellished buildings throughout the world for centuries.Apparently,it might look difficult to make one,but,it is not and you can easily produce beautiful stained glass objects like stained glass windows/door panels for your home,decorative lamps,a picture frame,a jewellery box or a delightful light catcher.Initially,I will focus on the stained glass wall hangings.

Things You Need:
  • Glass (any size and thickness you wish)
  • Craft knife(for cutting leads)
  • Liquid lead(available in bottles and tubes from arts and crafts shop)
  • Transparent glass paints(available in variety of brands and shades from arts and crafts shop)
  • Paint thinner(available from hardware stores and are used to thin the tarnsparent glass paints)
  • Thin marker(for tracing the design on the glass)
  • Paint brushes of various sizes.

The Method:
  1. Choose a template and get it enlarged, the size you want your painting to be.
  2. Once you have your template enlarged,ask your glass merchant to cut the piece of glass,the size slightly greater than your template so that you can get your stained glass wall hanging framed after its complete,but please make sure to ask your glass merchant to rub the glass edges with the sand stone so as to prevent your hands from cuts.
  3.  Clean the glass with glass cleaner.
  4. Once you have your glass and template ready,it's time for copying the template on the glass and we can do this in two ways:
    • Either place the template under the glass and directly trace out the design using the liquid lead by following the pattern.
    • Or place the template under the glass and trace out the design on glass with thin marker first and then make the outlines with the liquid lead.

      • Please remember that for making the outlines using liquid lead,always start from top left hand corner and work across and then down so as to avoid the smudging of wet liquid lead with your hand or arm.
      • Always wipe the nozzel of the lead bottle or the tube on a rag before beginning each new line.
      • It is very important that the lead dries completely before you start applying paints so as to avoid the mixing of lead and paint,so please let the lead dry for atleast 2 hours.
      • If you make a mistake using the lead,don't just rub it off while wet,let it dry completely and then scrap off the offending line using the craft knife.Reapply the liquid lead and again let it dry completely for atleast 2 hours.
  5. After the lead is dry it is time to fill in the colors.Whatever color you want to use,dilute three parts color with one part lacquer thinner.This will allow the paint to flow smoothly and dry without bubbles.
  6. When you have your desired color,begin painting using the back tip of your paint brush by dipping it in paint and dropping the paint on the template and spreading it gently.
  7. You can also use more than one paint in the same part of the design,but make sure that you use a different brush for different colors or clean your brush thoroughly with the thinner if you are using the same brush.
  8. Once your design is complete,allow it to dry for atleast 24 hours and then reapply the thin layer of liquid lead to the outlines and let it dry thoroughly for 2 hours.
  9. Now you have  your stained glass painting ready,get it framed and decorate walls of your house or you can even gift it to some one.

    Image by:bradleybassostainedglass
  • Using the color mixing technique,you can always make the color of your choice by mixing two colors,but,do remember to dilute the ready color with lacquer thinner.
  • If you want the lighter shade of some color,then add few drops of clear transparent paint that comes in your pack of transparent paints,or you can even buy it separately.For instance if you want light blue and you don't have one,then by adding few drops of clear transparent paint to the dark blue paint,you can get your desired light blue shade.
  • Before applying paints to the original project,always experiment on the piece of scrap glass until you are satisfied with the shade and consistency that paint runs smoothly on the glass.
  • If you are using two different colors on the same part of your design,then make sure that you use darker and lighter colors together so that one can notice the slight merging of two colors clearly and also this will enhance the beauty of your work.
  • Remember to use the darker shades at the top of the template and lighter shades at the bottom.
  • You can also make your colors opaque to use in leaves or floral patterns.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Basics of Color theory

Painting in general terms means applying colors and creating drawings that can be abstract,naturalistic and representational or photographic to express the painter's mood and thoughts.

But,what you think is the best part of painting?

For me, it is that painting does not require any specific medium,one can paint on canvas,walls,glass,fabric or wood,depending on the mood,level of experty and requirement of the painter.

I love playing with colors on glass and fabric,but for all of you who are interested in glass paintings,here I come to share my expertise with you and of course learn more from you.

I am not really aware of the exact origin of the glass paintings but I am sure about the fact that glass paintings give the dazzling and ethereal effect.Not taking much of your time, I will tell you the techniques of glass painting that I would like to share with you:

  • Stained glass
  • Use of crystalline colors
  • Painting on frosted glass
  • Mosaic work
  • Embossed etching
  • Crystal etching
But all step by step.

Color Theory:

Can we use something of which we are not aware of or don't have sufficent knowledge about?

Same goes for colors,many of you might be thinking that what and why do we need to know about colors as that is something that even a toodler can use.So the answer is that we need to know about the categories of colors so we can use them more efficiently.

According to the color theory,colors are categorized into:
  • Primary colors
  • Secondary colors
  • Teritary colors
Primary colors:

Red,blue and yellow are primary colors and these can not be obtained by color mixing technique.The following color wheel will be a great help in remembering primary colors.

Primary colors

Secondary colors:
When the primary colors(red,blue and yellow) are mixed with each other,what we get are secondary colors.Consider for instance,the following color mixings:

  • On mixing red and blue we get purple,

  • On mixing red and yellow we get orange,and

  • Mixing of yellow and blue gives us green.
So,purple,orange and green are secondary colors,how ever shade of each may vary depending on the quantity and shade of each of primary color used.The following color wheel describes the secondary colors.

Teritary colors:

These are wide range of colors we get by the combination of primary and secondary colors,like:

  • To get lovely turquoise blue,mix three parts blue with one part green.

  • To get brown,mix yellow and purple.
The color wheel for teritary colors is:


  1. To make the color more opaque,mix few drops of white to it. 

  2. The colors white and black are not part of the color theory,they cannot be made by mixing of colors with each other,but these can be used for making the shades of colors lighter or darker.
In short,don't worry if you don't have lots of colors with you,just be motivated and have loads of fun using three primary colors,black and white.Experiment with the color mixing to get beautiful stained glass projects done by you.The following color triangle will be helpful in understanding the color mixing of two colors:

Color theory basics -- color theory triangle

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