6 Things You Learn Best by Watching

Four techniques

Just give me a few minutes of your time, and you’ll see what I mean

Words are great. But they can only say so much. There are many things words cannot say.

Many things you can only learn by watching.

Here now are 6 things you can read about in books …

But you’ll learn a whole lot more when you just watch and copy what you see.

Just watch these clips and they’ll show you more than words can say.

If you’ve ever wondered how to prepare your glass paint …

I’m always advising you to work with a lump of glass paint, not a teaspoonful.

And the point about working with a lump is, you dilute it a little bit at a time, to whatever consistency you need.

The lump itself just needs occasional caring for, like at the start and end of a painting session (and, depending on how hot it is, sometimes in between).

So, what kind of things should you need to do to keep your lump of glass paint in excellent condition?

Well, you’ll learn much more when you let me show you what you must do.

Here’s a 30-second clip. Turn your volume on. And watch:

You see, it’s gentle attention like this, from time to time throughout the day, which keeps your paint in good condition.

  • Hard to describe.
  • Easy to show.

If you’ve ever wondered how to improve your tracing …

Here’s another thing: I’m amazed – shocked! – that none of the instruction books which everybody has, they never tell you the obvious truth that, just like you paint an undercoat when you decorate a room, so you prime your glass before you do your tracing.

It makes tracing and shading so much easier.

Which leaves these big questions: how do you prepare the undercoat? how do you apply it? and how do you get it nice and smooth?

Again, you can read about it, or you can watch and copy:

This is part of the story of how you give yourself a perfect surface on which to trace: by painting an undercoat as you see here.

And when you do your undercoat correctly,you get many other benefits as well, like being able to do all your painting in a single firing.

It’s a question of technique – technique you can watch and copy here.

If you’ve ever wondered about the best way to mix your tracing paint and load your brush …

When you see how some people rush to get tracing, you’d think they were taking part in some kind of race. (A race to ruin their tracing?)

The plain truth is, most people “just start” tracing because they don’t have the faintest idea what they’re supposed to do on the palette.

They’re so used to everything being ready-made and fit-to-go and off-the-shelf, they have no idea how to prepare the kind of paint they need for tracing.

Which is a pity because a brush is not a magic wand: if the paint is wrong on the palette, it won’t magically transform itself by the time it “hits” your glass.

No, if it’s wrong on the palette, it’ll come out wrong on your glass: that’s a certainty.

Truth is, it takes time to mix good paint for tracing.

Have a look at this and you’ll see what I mean:

This week I told Werner what I tell all my students: the time doesn’t matter if you get it right.

All the same, it’s certain you’ll take less time when you know exactly what you’re aiming for.

And that’s another way I can help you if you only will let me.

If you’ve ever wondered about the best way to trace and highlight …

Then there are 100s of things you must remember when you come to trace and highlight – how to use the bridge, how to hold the brush or stick, Where to hold the glass and so on.

Like riding a bicycle, it’s easy when you know how.

Practice makes perfect.

But what do you practice if you don’t know what to copy?

Yes, you know the kind of results you want, but how do you achieve them?

Easy! Let me show you the kinds of things you need to copy:

You see what I mean? Yes, you need words, we all do, words are helpful

But it’s also useful for you to see the kinds of thing which happen in real-life. It’s much better like that, it’s more natural – far more effective. You learn better. Your technique improves more quickly.

If you’ve ever wondered what mixes best with silver stain …

Once you’ve fired your lines and shadows and highlights, it’s time for silver stain to give the glass some welcome colour.

Silver stain is expensive so you don’t want to waste it.

Now most books say to mix your stain with vinegar or water which is certainly going to cost you a lot of money because you’ll waste so much.

So I want to show you how to mix your stain with various oils, then how to apply it:

All in all, it’s so much simpler when you first watch me do my silver staining.

If you’ve ever tried to shade with stain but failed with water or vinegar …

Another big problem with stain and water or stain and vinegar is, it’s hard to shade your stain.

With oil, it’s much easier. Have a look at this quick clip and you’ll start to see what I mean:

Stain costs more than $15 an ounce, so figure how much money this technique will save you.

Another thing: oil saves you money on brushes and palette knives because stain and oil don’t destroy your brushes and knives (like vinegar or water do).

Yes, using oil will save you so much money.

Plus … your glass will also look amazing:

The Diamond Lights of Hampton Hall

Silver stain and oil will make your painted glass look gorgeous …

So these are just 6 of the things it helps to watch and copy:

  1. How to prepare your glass paint
  2. All about undercoating and how this improves your tracing, shading and highlighting
  3. The best way to mix your tracing paint
  4. Tracing and highlighting: the tiny differences which make all the difference
  5. Mixing stain and oil to save you lots of time and money
  6. Tracing and shading with stain

In the olden days, glass painters were as plentiful as car-mechanics and you could train in a studio and learn the proper skills.

Nowadays, glass painters are harder to find, and more secretive.

But you still need to watch and copy.

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Stephen Byrne