Lesson Plan: Veils of Light and Color [Presented by Blick Art Materials]

In speaking of the stained glass windows found in gothic-era European cathedrals, 19th century French architect Eugene Viollett-le-Duc referred to them as “veils of light and color...” These enormous works of art were often called “curtain walls,” designed to create a breathtaking display of the mystical and beautiful qualities of light. 

Unbelievably, after the 16th century stained glass became almost a lost art. Because glass manufacturing was scarce, sometimes designers would layer two pieces of glass to produce the color or shade they wanted. 

This technique — known as “plating” — was carried into England's Gothic revival and the Art Nouveau movement of the late 19th century. Some of L.C. Tiffany's famous windows used plating to produce deep values and a wide variety of colors, and give the illusion of greater depth in his compositions. 

This project is far simpler than producing stained glass-type artwork, where pieces fit together and are separated by lead lines. By eliminating those aspects of construction, students are free to use shape, value, and color as they like, with the added element of light to illuminate their creations. Clean and easy window art is produced on clear, adhesive film using colorful pieces of cellophane. As color layers over color, new hues are created. As layered pieces filter light, deeper values emerge. 

**GRADES K-12** Note: Instructions and materials are based upon a class size of 24 students. Adjust as needed.

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