Do a face on white glass in strong outline only: step back, and the face goes to nothing; strengthen the outline till the forms are quite monstrous – the outline of the nose as broad as the bridge of it – still, at a given distance, it goes to nothing; the expression varies every step back you take. But now, take a matting brush, with a film so thin that it is hardly more than dirty water; put it on the back of the glass (so as not to wash up your outline); badger it flat, so as just to dim the glass less than “ground glass” is dimmed; – and you will find your outline looks almost the same at each distance. It is the pure light that plays tricks, and it will play them through a pinhole.”

Stained Glass Work by C.W. Whall - Chapter VI (London: John Hogg of Paternoster Row, 1905)

Your Undercoat: the Fifth Benefit

There are various reasons you must consider if your glass will benefit from an undercoat before you start to trace. 

Do you remember what these reasons are?

We’ll cover them in just a moment.

And – looking ahead – will it surprise you when I tell you how the undercoat also helps your viewers’ eyes?

Therefore, unless you are painting only for yourself – which might sound luxurious to start with, but actually it’s a mixed blessing because a demanding client can improve your work no end – this is something you definitely must know.

Undercoats

Most People Get Their Blending Wrong ...

They hit the glass too hard

Right, in his last post, Stephen challenged you to do it with one hand tied behind your back.

Undercoating, I mean.

And several people wrote how maybe they were heavy-handed, because no matter how they tried, their glass always spun away across the light-box.

So I reckon the best thing now is to show you what we mean.

Sounds good to you?

Good, so let’s get going.