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Stained Glass Paintings

Traditional Stained Glass windows and Tiffany style lamps are made by cutting colored glass into shapes, arranging them into a pattern, affixing a lead strip around the edges, then soldering the leaded edges together.

I don't do that.

I make window hangings and large sun-catchers using translucent paint on a solid pane of regular old clear glass.

I call them Stained Glass Paintings.

About the process

I start with a pane of glass from a standard picture frame. Old glass is best, it's thicker. I find them at thrift stores and garage sales, usually tucked in the back with other unpopular items. I've also painted on reclaimed window panes found at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, they have nice large sized panes of thick glass.

First I clean the glass, then cover the edges with electricians black tape- just so I don't cut myself while working on it.


Next I draw a template using a dry erase pen or a sharpie marker. It's easy to make quick changes this way and add or remove elements; just by wiping it off the glass and redrawing it.

glass painting process, drawing on sheet glass with marker pen

Once I am happy with the design I turn the glass over and apply black  "lead lines" over my colored marker template. The outlines are applied using a thick black glossy medium that takes a few hours to dry, I usually let them sit overnight.

glass painting process, applying the lead lines

Finally I add translucent colored paint to the sections. The colored glass sections can be made to have "texture" by applying gloss gel medium and shaping it with various tools.

heart flowers - gallery glass paint on 11x14 glass

It takes the translucent paint a few days to fully dry, then I get to work on the frames. Usually I will sand the wood, re-stain it if necessary, and build a brace for the back to hold the glass pane with the least amount of obstruction.

nouveau flower - gallery glass paint on 11x14 glass
nouveau branches - pebeo vitrail on 18x24 glass
sun design - pebeo vitrail on 11x14 glass
LoveBirds - pebeo vitrail on 18x24 glass
dos flores nouveau - pebeo vitrail on 18x24 glass
art deco window, plaid leadlines with clear gel medium
custom stained glass for farmers market

Made as a gift for the Lubbock Downtown Farmers Market association, to thank them for letting me be a vendor there for so many years. It was a great time I will never forget!

edwardian nouveau - pebeo vitrail with embedded items on 18x24 glass

Sometimes I embed little elements directly into the paint. In this one I created some random colorful designs on my computer, printed them on clear overhead projector sheets, cut them out and embedded them in resin.

edwardian nouveau detail of embedded elements

In the center of the closeup above, you might recognize part of a scene from a Jimi Hendrix album. I scanned the album, cropped and enhanced some parts, printed it on overhead projector clear sheets, cut it to fit the shape and embedded it on the glass in resin.

rose cross - gallery glass paint on 11x14 glass
flower- pebeo vitrail on 11x14 glass
pebeo vitrail paint on 12x12 glass
lotus blossom - pebeo vitrail paint on 11x14 glass
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