Understanding Color Choices in Stained Glass

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Understanding color choices in stained glass can be hard. Stained glass artists rarely give advice on the subject, and when they do, they usually assume that you already know how to deal with color.

You don’t. I didn’t, at least not when I started out.

This blog is intended to be a resource for new stained glass artists. It will help you understand the various color choices you will have to make as you design your pieces and the different ways these colors can appear on the finished piece. You will also learn about some of the most common mistakes stained glass artists make, and how to avoid them.

Understanding Color Choices in Stained Glass

Traditional stained glass windows were created with a technique called “fusing.” This procedure required the artist to place pieces of colored glass, called “came” together under intense heat and pressure. The glass was then fused together as one piece, creating a beautifully colored image.

On the other hand, if the artist wanted to create a darker color, he would glue pieces of black “mull” directly onto the design to create shading.

The main colors used in stained glass are:

The color choices in stained glass are best understood by examining what is possible, not by trying to describe the actual stained glass.

The most basic challenge of stained glass is the fact that it is made out of glass, which is transparent. Colors must be either translucent or opaque. Opaque colors provide their own light. Any other color scheme requires some kind of backing material, which transmits light.

The difference between opaque and translucent colors is a big factor in how stained glass looks. Translucent colors are lighter and more ethereal than opaque ones, because they allow so much more light to shine through. If a piece has mostly translucent colors, it will look lighter and airier than one with a lot of opaque ones.

Light in stained glass is a major design element. This blog explores the different ways that stained glass artists use color to achieve their effects. The author also talks about how to create color schemes, and shares some of his own designs.


Colors are what make stained glass art so wonderful. No matter how many times you’ve seen a window or a panel, or even the same window or panel from a different day, you can see it anew with fresh eyes and an open mind.

Color is like art; the color of a piece of stained glass is determined by the colors used in its design. Artists choose colors with careful consideration to achieve the desired effect. To fully appreciate stained glass, we must first understand the basics of color theory.

Stained Glass is a wonderful art form that has been around for centuries. There are many different ways to use color in stained glass windows, although the most common way is by using the three primary colors: red, blue and yellow.

Stained glass artists have a saying that if you can mix any color you want with red, blue and yellow then it isn’t stained glass!

Stained glass is a fascinating art form that dates back centuries. The artisans who created the subtle, colorful panels of stained glass found inspiration in many places. Some of their inspiration came from religious texts, while other sources were from nature and from the secular world. Often, the stained glass artists borrowed motifs from one place and applied them to another – for example, using a floral pattern from life to create a stained glass window that would later become an inspiration for other artists who would create similar windows for other purposes.

Set against the rich backdrop of history, stained glass takes on new meaning when viewed as a highly prized art form, not just something to let light into a room or protect inhabitants from the elements. Like many other forms of art, there are no hard and fast rules that govern what makes beautiful stained glass or what colors are best suited to this medium. Therefore each artist who creates stained glass has his or her own personal style and each piece of artwork is unique unto itself.

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