Inspire Me Monday: Coloring Glass!

Have you ever wondered how you can bring out that texture and transparency in your colored creations? Have you wondered how you can do that with Copic Markers and Colored Pencils? Sit back, relax and let me give you a few tips and tricks today. If this whets your appetite for adding a little extra realism to your coloring, the good news is.... I have a class on the topic that you can fully immerse yourself in. Let's take a peek at my finished image so you can see where we are traveling today!

Now, let's get to the tips. For my little project today, I printed off Power Poppy's Seaside Sweetness digital stamp on kraft card stock. It's a gorgeous glass cloche that just screams summer and all things beachy. It also is the perfect backdrop for stunning glass effects and a handful of ways to add texture. After all, sand is not smooth, coral is not smooth and starfish are never smooth. 

TIP 1: Glass may be transparent but it still has weight and presence. It transmits light but it also reflects and refracts light. Glass also casts a shadow. If all you ever do is outline glass objects with a B01 Copic and then slap a comma of white gel pen in one corner, you’re missing out on an amazing coloring adventure. Our lives are full of glass objects, so unlike zebras or rainbows, it’s easy to observe real glass in real life. Start paying attention at the dinner table. Light on glass is fascinating!

TIP 2: I work with limited color palettes, choosing 4-5 colors and repeating them throughout the image. So instead of coloring the starfish one color, finding a new trio for the sand, and a third combination for the coral, instead I’m repeating the same blending combination in a dark, medium, and pale version. By limiting the palette, the focus becomes the stamp and the story it tells.

TIP 3: OH NO!!! One of the risks of printing the stamp in the palest gray is that I occasionally lose my way. I accidentally made the teapot far too wide on the right side. I’m pointing to the mistake with the nib of the colorless blender. I’m slowly using the 0 marker to force the mistake ink back into the side of the teapot. I’ve moistened it four times now and it’ll likely take at least four more but slowly, I’ll fix this. Wet and wait, wet and wait, wet and wait. Patience pays off!

TIP 4: At this point, we’re faced with a choice. You can make this look like real glass or you can protect the items inside the dome. You can’t do both. Too many people purchase beautiful snow globe, canning jar, or aquarium stamps and then chicken out when it comes to making the glass look like glass. If I don’t add these highlights, the shells and teapot will never look like they’re inside the glass. Isn’t the glass the whole point? Isn’t the dome what makes this look interesting? Don’t sacrifice the beauty of glass to protect the contents of the glass!

TIP 5: I’m using Indigo Blue to sculpt the various layers of the enamel Biggun pot and then Light Aqua to add bits of highlight. It’s important not to make the highlights too strong because remember, the teapot is inside the glass. A strong sharp highlight will shatter the depth.

TIP 6: Still trying to keep each element subtle. So instead of highlighting the starfish and coral with white, I use cream. On the shell, I highlight with a medium blue. This keeps all the objects inside the cloche dome.

TIP 7: It would have been far too easy to leave the background untouched but one trick I developed when doing portraiture on mid-tone paper is that it looks cool to add a bit of glowing color along the sides where the object is darkest. Cream here provides a subtle glow next to the deeper blue-gray of the glass dome but it also nicely ties in with the sand.

And, my friends, let's take one last look at the overall finished project....

So, if you want to dip your feet in a little deeper and take a step-by-step class looking coloring glass and adding that texture to objects you color, join me this coming Friday for a LIVE BROADCAST at 11 AM EDT. Can't make it that day? Don't worry, if you sign up, there is a replay immediately after the broadcast ends, allowing you to watch as many times as you like until December of 2019. As an added bonus, all students receive 20% off the digital Seaside Sweetness stamp set! 

Want to know more? Just click on over HERE to find out all the details!

Thanks for stopping by and joining me for this Inspire Me Monday!


Heather said...

wow!! Amazing!! I'm checking out that class right now!

KathyA. said...

This is an amazing tutorial. Now I need to order that great image so I can CASE your card. Thanks so much! Kathy A from

Charmaine said...


Anonymous said...

This was very helpful and interesting. Thanks for sharing your skills and tips.

Henriƫtte Creatively Happy said...

This is stunning Amy, unbelieveble how the glass came to life.
Thank you so much for this great tutorial, I will definitely try this.