Friday, 25 November 2011

Beautiful Design Lines

Principles of design practice for stained glass, 3

Stained glass is a graphic medium where line and colour are very important. Achieving pleasing lines and forms requires practice and use of various approaches and techniques.

The two dimensional world is one of abstract thought. Work and development are the way to creativity – there is no mystical talent. Practice drawing every day – set aside time to do it, if you normally shy away from drawing as an exercise.

Study and learn from what has gone before. Look at the images and objects you admire and analyse what you like about them and why. Also consider what things could have been done differently. Consider how those changes would affect the character of the piece.

Of course, maintaining your creative attention is difficult, so when blocks occur try some or all of these things:
  • Put the work aside for a day or two before taking it out and looking at it again.
  • Alternatively, pin up the design on a wall where you can look at as you pass by. When you see a change to be made, do it immediately and pin it back up.
  • Get a new perspective, e.g.:
    • Turn it upside down. This will enable you to observe differences and spot inconsistencies
    • Look at it in a mirror. You might see people studying still life or live subjects together with their drawing in a hand mirror to get a new perspective that will help spot difficulties.
    • Put the design on the floor and climb a ladder to look at it. This provides distance and changes the angle at which you look at your design.

Remember that design tends toward realism or abstraction. You need to work on both forms, remembering that glass is a graphic medium that tends toward abstraction. Working on both forms develops your flexibility and knowledge. Having a working knowledge of both enables you to have a responsive approach to the client.