Techniques and Structure – as well as Confidence and Creativity

Each one of you plans to travel a long distance to spend time with us in the studio.

So it’s essential we all agree on the broad outline of how the days will go.

Now I’m going to write this all in a low-key, quiet way, because I’m not trying to sell you anything, just talk with you.

Here goes.

(And here’s a quick link back to the main page with all the accommodation details and other things.)

Monday June 6th

Monday is a half-day. That way you see the studio and settle in. Then you’ll be absolutely prepared for the rest of the week e.g. because we’ll all have met, talked, walked around, and you’ll know where everything is.

Of course you’ll also learn a lot on that first afternoon.

Straight away, you’ll see some demonstrations so you’ll get a clear sense of where you’re going.

And then you’ll spend the rest of the afternoon working with the palette, a few brushes, and the light-box.

We want you to get really confident about quickly moving from one consistency of paint to another.

And managing your palette.

So from undercoating paint to copy-tracing paint to a slightly stronger paint for reinforcing … then back to undercoating paint again … then forwards again to a strengthening paint … and onwards to flooding.

And all the time of course we’ll work with you on how to use your palette knife, how to prepare and mix the paint, how to load and shape the various brushes.

To be clear: we’re not saying this is the only way to paint stained glass.

The point is, when you’re absolutely confident about managing their palette, you’ll definitely be better equipped to paint stained glass in whatever way you choose.

So that’s Monday afternoon,


And probably also some of Tuesday morning.

Sometime Tuesday morning we’ll move from just painting on the light box to painting images on glass.

Most likely we’ll spend some time on silhouettes. There’ll be a variety of images to cater for your different levels of skill.

And that’s also important.

It’s always the case that some people already know some things, that some people move faster at times than others …

Well, there are 2 of us to work with you, which is an excellent ratio, and I know for sure that, within the structure we propose, it’ll be possible to respond to everyone individually.

Tuesday afternoon we’ll work with softened lines.

Again there’ll be a wide variety of designs for you to choose from. The aim here is for everyone to get really good at laying down shadows before refining them with traced lines and highlights.

You’ll also build up a good stock of images to work on with oil-based paint and stain on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.


So Wednesday – mixing and managing oil-based paint, using different brushes, the amazing effects you can achieve with oil on top of unfired water-based paint.


Silver stain with oil: how to mix it, how to dilute it, how to apply it.

Our approach

All along, we want you to learn best practices and best techniques, then first rehearse them in a structured way, then take them forward in the ways you choose.

So we’ll always start by each copying the same design.

Once everyone’s happy with the method, you’ll get to strike out in your own directions with whatever level of design you choose.

That’s how we propose to balance the benefits of structure against your own developing confidence with the various media, materials and tools.

Which leaves Friday June 10th …

Now that’s how things would run if no one asked any questions.

So that would mean Friday was completely empty.

But you see we’re sure there’ll be a lot of different questions.

And maybe we’ll sit down and talk about different approaches for an hour or two. Or maybe you’ll want to discuss the different ways of going about preparing a design. Or maybe …

You see, I’m sure everything will run into Friday but I’ve no way of knowing how this will happen.

And if I’m wrong and no one ever asked us any questions, well, there are several hundred lovely designs around the studio for you to work on at your own pace, getting our help and watching demonstrations whenever you want.

And remember there’ll also be the ongoing project of the tycoon’s 16 stained glass highlights

What do you want?

How does this all sound to you? Drop us a line – this link will get to the both of us (not just me). Email us here!



P.S. As I said before, this is the only time in 2011 we can open up the studio for a structured course like this.

All the same, there are maybe two other occasions when we can work with one or two people on their own, at the same time as keeping going with the studio’s own work.

It’s important you decide what’s right for you.

If we run a course like this one in June, it’s got to have structure or else there’ll be chaos.

But anyone who has very particular or very advanced requirements – please write and let us know!

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One thought on “Techniques and Structure – as well as Confidence and Creativity

  1. This from Steve McKelvey:

    How to blend a matted surface to make it look like a face, how to make drapery for the folds of a gown or dress, how to stipple a surface to bring out the highlights and finally, when to use the front of the glass and when to use the back to create the desired effect.

    Yes, indeed!