Art School | Stained Glass Inspired Watercolor
Today we are going to briefly learn about the life and work of an American artist and designer, Louis Comfort Tiffany. He lived from 1848-1933, and like his last name reveals, he is the son of the founder of Tiffany and Company, which is a very famous company which still has stores open to this day. Born in Pennsylvania, he first was trained in the art of painting, but glassmaking was his true passion.
Did you know that glassmaking was an art of itself? And Tiffany not only made his own glass but he created a unique style of stained glass. Now this was very different than the method of painted glass at the time which had been around for hundreds of years in Europe. This was a new American style of stained glass. Tiffany created stained glass windows in many parts of the United States and also in Canada and Paris. Below is an example of one of his pieces in Baltimore Maryland, called The Holy City.
However Tiffany is most notable for his work on lamps and mosaics, in particular on a type of lamp which became known as the “Tiffany lamp”. You can see below an example of one of the Tiffany lamps created in his studio which at one time employed 300 artists.
We are going to take these pieces as our inspiration today to create a watercolor that appears to be made of stained glass.
Supplies: watercolors, brush, water, watercolor paper, black sharpie, and pencil
First, have your children place their paper vertical and using pencil, follow the example of the lamp photo and create a few flowers and stems as the focal point of the drawing. They can be of any flower and can include some stem leaves as well if you’d like.
Next, create a brickwork behind the flowers of squares and rectangles. These shapes can be varying in size as long as they cover the rest of the paper.
Using colors from our watercolor palette, next is the painting part. Adding more water will lighten the color and make it appear faint and transparent, similar to glass. But any combination of colors and brightness is great. I recommend about 3-5 colors for the brickwork, and 2-3 different colors for the flowers and stems.
Once the paint is completely dry you can come back with a permanent sharpie and have your children outline all their pencil marks. Some may be hard to see, so use the color divisions as the lines of separation.
And once complete, your child will have their very own Tiffany inspired stained glass watercolor.