Glass Painting Techniques & Secrets from an English Stained Glass Studio

“It’s our glass painting secret …” – That’s something we never say

The techniques belong to everyone

Here’s why.

Right from day one, David and I put teaching at the heart of everything we do at Williams & Byrne.

You see I remember the day I decided to quit my office job and take up stained glass painting.

Back then – 11 years ago now – I was a business analyst for a huge insurance firm in City of London. (Yes, and hungry for adventure!)

I also remember very clearly – with just two exceptions (more about them in a moment) – how ridiculously hard it was to get sensible advice or even halfway competent instruction about real kiln-fired glass painting

Closed doors pretty much everywhere.

Either that or garbled information and badly written text books.

What is it with some people?

Do they think the techniques belong to them? Are they scared of someone doing better? Can’t they write clearly?

I don’t know what it is but it’s crazy.

Surely the techniques belong to everyone who’s got the patience and the will to learn them.

Teaching and learning preserve the ancient tradition of stained glass painting

And as for someone learning to paint better than us – like, “Does it scare us? Do we mind?” – it’s not a competition between “us” and “anyone else”.

What really matters is that the long tradition of stained glass painting regenerates itself and grows stronger over time.

And the tradition needs newcomers and excellence in order to grow

The tradition also needs people who are brave enought raise their hand and say, “Yes, I want to get better at this, and this, and this: just tell me how!”

To be fair, David had a very different experience when he started out.

No doubt that’s why he was one of the two honourable exceptions who gladly shared his knowledge with me. (The other one was Leo Amery, an English stained glass painter who lives and works in France.)

You see, David spent 8 years as an apprentice in Patrick Reyntien’s studios, and Patrick was as generous with him as you could wish.

David (left) with Patrick Reyntiens (right)
when Pat called in for tea at our studio on his way to visit Sir Roy Strong

That means we both know what it’s like to want to learn and always improve.

That’s why teaching is at the heart of all our work.

BBC interview with David and Stephen

Here’s where you can listen to an interview we gave the BBC about why teaching matters to us both.

The sound is not too good but like a lot of other people, the BBC is going through a recession …

The point is, anyone who’s seriously interested in the techniques of kiln-fired glass painting must read on and see exactly what you’ll get here …

  1. Maybe you’ll join us in the studio for an intensive, technique-packed glass painting course
  2. Or maybe you want to act now and learn more about this fascinating craft …

That’s why David and I spent a long time figuring out what will work best for people who want to learn more right now.

So we’ve taken our much-praised one-volume “Glass Painting Techniques & Secrets from an English Stained Glass Studio” and separated it into three convenient parts, each one packed with more designs, techniques, tips and videos than ever before:

  • Part #1 is for everyone who wants a thorough grounding in the core techniques of classical glass painting – meaning how to trace, shade, flood and hightlight in a single firing
  • Part #2 is for those of you who want to become expert in oil-based stained glass painting the same approach used by master glass painters to paint those beautiful faces, hands and clothing you see in churches
  • Part #3 is where you discover how to silver stain with ease and skill, avoiding all the technical problems of traditional (and mistaken) silver staining methods, saving so much time, money and heart-ache

Does this sound interesting to you? Then read on …

Learn glass painting – 19 proven strategies

19 proven glass painting strategies

First up, you absolutely need a reliable source of information.

Finding good information is not as easy as it should be – even in this age of the internet.

You see the published books are generally – how shall I put it? – misleading.

For example the basic topic of “How to mix paint” is usually be “explained” in a sentence or two.

Which is great if you want to trick people into thinking their lack of success is caused by their lack of “artistic” talent. But it’s a really unfair trick to play all in all.

That’s why the “Part 1” you get from us starts with clear instructions for mixing excellent paint plus 28 step-by-step photos showing you exactly how it’s done.

You also discover how to bring dried paint “back to life”, which saves you time and money.

Now I’m going to stop right there with “knocking the competition” because I’m sure you’ve done your homework, so you know the kind of books there are. And you’ve seen the detailed information and case studies we share with you on this website and in the newsletter.

To paint glass well, you need well-mixed paint like this But be clear about this.

It really matters how you mix and keep your paint.

Make one mistake with this, and all the talent in the world will not save your painting. End of story.

And never let anyone kid you this is because there’s something wrong with your ability – it’s actually down to a small but important technical detail which you must know about, otherwise you’re wasting you’re time.

That’s why you get 10 pages of recipes and photos so you know exactly what to do to mix, test and store your paint.

I mentioned “19 proven strategies” a moment earlier, now that’s a lie as I shall explain in a moment.

First, here’s one true story from 1000s we’ve received:

“About ten years ago I couldn’t find any detailed instructions anywhere apart from the Albinas Elskus book.

As a beginner, Elskus’ book provided a good overview of the subject but not enough detail – my first attempts at glass painting resulted in mixed results.

At that time I got the impression that practice of glass painting was a closely guarded secret.

After ten years I decided to try and find information again. And I was astounded by the information you are supplying.

I am now confident that I can start learning how to do stained glass painting and have many projects that I want to pursue. Thank you!” (Denis Leys, New South Wales, Australia)

See the key things Denis mentions here: detailed instructions, plus confidence to try, plus complete openness on our part.

For instance, just in Part 1, you will learn not 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 but …

9 essential ways to use a palette knife

Imagine what you will learn from the other 50 pages in Part 1 alone.

Well, there’s no need to imagine. I’ll tell you. Things like …

When you know the correct way to use a bridge, it’s much easier to trace long elegant lines

  • The correct way to hold and use a painting bridge
  • How to organize your painting palette – does anyone else tell you about this? The importance of painting with a lump of paint – not a teaspoonful (which would be useless)
  • Why it’s easier when you paint an undercoat before you trace, and how to do this
  • How to shade before you trace which adds subtlety
  • Why stained glass silhouettes are the best way to improve your tracing
  • How to do all your stained glass painting in a single firing – saves time, adds beauty
  • Painting on the front and back of the glass in a single firing (saves time)
  • Techniques of highlighting and softened highlights (adds subtlety)
  • How to make painted glass seem old (great for restoration)
  • Give depth and perspective to your glass
  • How to use a toothbrush to give age and texture to your glass …

And the list goes on. This is just from Part 1, “How you can trace, shade, flood and highlight (front and back) in a single firing, and why you absolutely need a lump of paint to do this (not a teaspoonful)“.

You’ll learn 19 proven glass painting strategies to paint your glass beautifully – but that’s a lie …

Now what was the lie I mentioned earlier? There are far more than 19 proven strategies here. I have identified more than 87. You see these three downloads get you the full picture with nothing held back.

You must know how to hold, shape and load a tracing brush

Which means for example you also learn the best way to hold a tracing brush, and how to shape and load it with paint. These are all precise and proven techniques which make all the difference to how you paint stained glass.

So if you’re a professional who paints for money, these downloads will pay for themselves many times over and over again.

If you’re a serious amateur who paints for pleasure, I guarantee you these techniques are the best way to finding that pure, happy sense of focus and enjoyment which you’re after. Plus you’ll learn to paint glass beautifully.

If you’re a beginner with an inquiring mind, these downloads contains the best account you could ever hope for (as you will see from the rest of this website)

Yes you will need to study and practice. We all do. These downloads are great for professionals and amateurs but they’re just awful for dabblers and time-wasters. So let’s be clear. Here’s what you won’t get. You won’t get:

  • So-called “short-cuts” which don’t work
  • “Infallible” ways to design world-dominating windows
  • A “hypnotic formula” to command respect and adoration from the art-world
  • Information about non-firing glass paints

And we can’t turn you into stained glass painters overnight. It takes work and commitment from you. I won’t pretend otherwise. That’s why we show you our respect by preparing such detailed and photo-packed information.

Thinking, “These aren’t ‘real books’ – can I trust this deal?” Read this …

100% risk-free guarantee

Maybe you’ve joined the newsletter so you already know the kind of detail and care you get from us.

But maybe you’re new here, or maybe you’re wondering about what kind of return you’ll get. Well please do remember you get a 100% guarantee:

If for any reason at any time you want your money back, just write and say, and I’ll arrange it straight away.

And also read this message we received from a colleague in New York:

“I was not sure that I was making a good decision because I was not receiving a ‘real book’ but I quickly had my affirmation. I received enough value in the first evening of reading my download to justify my investment. You guys are great and generous proponents of the art! Thank you” (Michael Gonta, New York, US)

See what Michael says about how just in a few hours he got more than he paid for.

In 5 years (and three editions), there’s only ever been one person was disappointed and asked for a refund. This was because they wanted a book on non-firing glass painting. Which we don’t know about.

It’s only kiln-fired glass painting you learn about here.

“OK so what’s in the three (3) key downloads?”

Fair question so let’s take a look at what you get in each part.

Glass Painting Techniques & Secrets Part 1 – the Classical Foundations

Part 1 the Classical Foundations

Part 1 the Classical Foundations

The title’s long but says it all:

How you can trace, shade, flood and highlight (front and back) in a single firing, and why you absolutely need a lump of paint to do this (not a teaspoonful)

All the techniques are presented clearly for glass painters of any level from beginner through to professional.

Yes, even professionals need this download. The reason is, it covers material you just won’t find elsewhere and also solves problems I’ll bet you’ve been struggling with since you began.

Beginners on the other hand have the good fortune of learning good practice right from the start … You are fortunate indeed.


  • How to mix perfect paint, all the ingredients, and their proportions
  • How to test your paint
  • The consistency you must have
  • How to keep your paint fresh for weeks and even months
  • How you can use your light box to prevent mistakes on glass
  • How an undercoat of paint will help you trace light and delicate lines
  • How to paint on top of unfired paint (many books say this is impossible – they are all wrong!)
  • How to flood large areas of glass with dark paint which doesn’t blister in the kiln
  • How to trace lightly
  • How to reinforce a line
  • How to thicken a line
  • How to create textures and shadows

On top of this, you’ll also discover how to shade before you trace (yes, all in a single firing).

See, most people think you shade and matt only after you’ve fired your trace lines. But here you will discover a completely different way of shading stained glass – it is amazing.

You will discover how to shade before you trace, then paint your trace lines, then fire your glass just once. Saves money, saves time. And the very best thing is this – that you will find new confidence in glass painting.

“A new world has opened for me: fascinating” (Ivo de Croock, Antwerp, Belgium)

“Your step-by-step instructions are just what I need” (Linda Zorichak, Germany)

This is such a great help!” (Ab Evenhuis, Veldhoven, Netherlands)

“Your e-book helps me paint with a much better understanding of the art” (Joanne Legault, Manitoba, Canada)

Click here to learn more about Glass Painting Techniques & Secrets Part 1 – the Classical Foundations

Click here to learn moreGlass Painting Techniques & Secrets Part 2 – Glass Painting with Oil

Glass painting part 2 - advanced glass painting with oil

Glass painting with oil

Once again, a long title. The point is, it tells you exactly what yuou will get:

How you can use oil to shade efforlessly & leisurely & still do all your glass painting (front and back) in a single firing

See, now you will discover something that even Albinus Elskus doesn’t show you – how to paint with oil-based paint on top of unfired water-based paint.

And we don’t mean using a nib and oil – that’s easy.

You will actually learn how to use a brush and oil-based paint on top of all those layers of unfired water-based paint you learned about in Part 1. Wouldn’t you think this would disturb the unfired traced lines and shading beneath?

Well, it doesn’t. Here’s where you learn how and why.

How You Can Use Oil to Shade Effortlessly and Leisurely and Still Do ALL Your Stained Glass Painting, Front and Back, in Just One Firing

You will also discover how to shade with oil: if you haven’t done this before, get ready for a wonderful new skill. This technique will change the way you paint stained glass: I guaranteed it or I will give you your money back.

“I am thoroughly enjoying this e-book. It completely changes the way I paint stained glass” (Ken de Leeuw, New York, US)

“… the most complete information …” (Dave Kimmel, Pennsylvania, US)

“Your advice is so precious” (Ewa Nerkowska, Warsaw, Poland)

“… your thoughtful e-book” (Irene de Hosson, Marum, Netherlands)

“You make a great difference in peoples’ lives” (Cindy Whitehead, Texas, US)

“Wonderful and informative: I am totally thrilled”(Diane Armitage, California, USA)

“This e-book fills in the gaps that other books leave” (Maggi Macaulay, Quebec, Canada)

Click here to learn more about Glass Painting Techniques & Secrets Part 2 – Painting with Oil

Click here to learn more about Part 2

Glass Painting Techniques & Secrets Part 3 – Silver Stain: Your Problems Solved

Silver stain – your problems solved

Every book I’ve ever seen has also told people to mix their stain with water or vinegar.

Every glass painter I’ve ever met has always complained about the unpredictability of using stain.


Maybe there’s a connection here?

In fact there definitely is. And with silver stain costing anywhere between $9 and $15 an ounce, you’re wasting time and money if you continue mixing it with water or vinegar.

See, ruined stain actually ruins the whole piece and wastes hours and days of your valuable time.

That’s why this guide is indispensable to everyone who wants their silver stain to succeed.

How you can trace, blend, shade & flood from a reliable batch that keeps for months (and why water or vinegar are no good for this)

Again, the title says what you will learn.

“Congratulations on an excellent e-book” (John Wilson, Eccles, England)

“You are simply exquisite. Thank you so much for your wonderful activity” (Mafalda Castellani, Rome, Italy)

“A treasure trove of ideas” (Shereen Timmerman, California, USA)

Fabulous” (Linda Graham, Suffolk, England

Excellent” (Rubèn Alberto Pere Bugnest, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

“Your e-book inspires me further” (Sue Sills, Wiltshire, England)

“I am so impressed by the knowledge you are willing to share: you are the best” (Charlotte Pennington, Florida, USA)

“I love your techniques” (Louise Carbonneau Vermeiren, Ontario Canada)

Click here to learn more about Glass Painting Techniques & Secrets Part 3 – Silver Stain

Click here to learn more about Part 3

Glass Painting Techniques & Secrets from an English Stained Glass Studio – now in 3 convenient parts

So you see you’ll get lots of practical suggestions on what works, what doesn’t and why.

We’ll destroy a load of silly myths and confusions which cause many people huge trouble.

And above all we aim to inspire you to paint glass beautifully.

This is your opportunity to download a unique 3-part practical companion where you will find out about paint mixing, silhouetting, shading, tracing, highlighting, painting glass with oil, and silver staining.

  • Part 1 – Classical tracing, shading, flooding, highlighting back and front in just one firing
  • Part 2 – Advanced glass painting with oil on top of unfired water-based paint
  • Part 3 – Silver staining with oil

To be specific, here are the 19 strategies you will learn about in these three guides to kiln-fired stained glass painting:

How to organize and control your palette, undercoating, copy-tracing, reinforcing, strengthening, testing, softening, reinstating, modelling, silhouetting and blocking in, highlighting and softened highlights, reverse painting and spottling, undercoating with oil, tracing and shading in oil, highlighting in oil.

Plus how to mix the perfect lump of water-based paint and how to mix perfect oil-based paint.

Plus how to kick the bad habit of using silver stain with water or vinegar and also how to chose the right oils to use instead.

All backed up with a 100% money-back guarantee.

What these downloads are not

Lots of answers but not a “quick-fix” guide

You maybe know all too well that many books promise to turn you into a talented stained glass painter “in a weekend” or even quicker.

Worse still, many glass painting books contain half-truths – or downright errors.

Their recipes are wrong or incomplete.

Their procedures don’t work.

You don’t get a real and exciting idea of how proper kiln-fired stained glass painting is really done. Few of these books’ authors have played in the big arena.

We make honourable and respectful exceptions of Albinus Elskus and Patrick Reyntiens, both of whom have written very important books that you should read, along with this one here for you today.

And too many of these books are in the “become-an-artist-overnight” field. If that interests you, read no further. Sorry, it can’t be done.

So,what you will get from us is much broader and, to be honest, much harder work.

You’re going to get the stained glass painting techniques we use each day to make our very own windows at Williams & Byrne.

Everything from the best way to prepare a perfect lump of glass paint to how to paint with oil on top of unfired water-based paint. Plus how to silver stain with oil because this saves you so much time and worry.

Along the way you’ll also discover how to shade before you trace, as well as how to paint both undercoats and overcoats (hint: undercoats prime the glass before you trace on them, whilst overcoats enable you to transform lines into shadows).

And, from the many comments we’ve received, we’re also confident we’ll do something else.

Despite the hard work (yes), we will also make it fun.

You will enjoy the experience of working hard with us. You have nothing to risk except what you will not learn unless you act now.

There’s no need to take our word for it. Just read what other people say:

“Your willingness to share is incredibly kind” (Jerry Thompson, Texas, US)

Truly inspired” (Norman Walker, Deux-Sevres, France)

“This e-book is amazing” (Alison Evans, Welling, UK)

“Detailed and easy to follow” (Richard Bancroft, Boston, US)

“Such a beautiful e-book” (Kevin Thornhill, Florida, US)

What do you need to know?

It’s your choice now. Yours alone. You choose:

Glass painting techniques and secrets - Part 1 Glass painting techniques and secrets - Part 2 Glass painting techniques and secrets - Part 3

Part 1

Classical Foundations

Part 2

Glass Painting with Oil

Part 3

Silver Staining with Oil