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I thought I’d share with you how I approach creating a stained glass pattern. I wanted to start simple with backgrounds.   

When I think about a new pattern I think about the negative space as much as the picture I’m actually drawing. I ask myself, what kind of background do I want?

If it’s going to look like part of the scenery I may want to incorporate clouds to blend the cut line with the design.

Sometimes I find that if I add a background to the pattern it will look messy or distracting. In this case, I want a freeform or cutout piece.


Another option I like is to zoom in on your subject until you have little to no background. This will also bring your focal point to exactly where you want it to be.

One technique I think is under used is the use of black as a background. This will give a photographic quality to the piece and make your subject matter punch. 

And finally, I ask myself if I want a border. No border will feel like the piece continues off the page and make it look more like a photograph. Whereas a border will act as a frame and will give you the ability to add more color.

All of these choices are correct. I think the great thing about doing stained glass is the wonderful variety of choices available to us. Do you have any ideas on techniques or styles of backgrounds?

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