Shattered Glass

Class taught by T. Linda S. on 10/23/06


See the gallery and upload your own images:
Shattered Glass Gallery on Flickr

– Matte Black card stock
– Masking tape / Low tack masking tape / Eclipse masking “paper” / any repositionable media that can be cut or torn AND will hold up to paint – not bleed through.
– Lumiere Pearl paint.
– Stamps Not really fine detail or really bold so I don’t recommend you try photo stamps. I’ve used the weeping oriental maiden, a small oriental butterfly, a pine branch and a solid leafed bamboo. Plus a fine line, oriental word, background stamp.
– good quality, dense Black stamping ink, anything except embossable ink. I’ve used Marvey black dye, Brilliance black, Staz-On black, Ancient Page coal black and I think VersaFine black will work but I haven’t tried it, … yet!
– Brilliance Pearlescent Beige (not absolutely needed but just the right finishing touch and no other ink color works as well).
– bonus supply – extra colors, 2 or 3 of Lumiere paint. You will need at most 6 drops so if you don’t all ready have the needed pots of paint, use pearl paint and color with something. But don’t make up the colors until you need them. Note if I’m doing leaf type stamps, I would use gold & green as my extra colors. If I wanted to empathize the weeping maiden, then I used blue & green. But maybe you want I happy, Valentine, shattered glass card then you would pick gold or yellow and pink or red. If you were doing a Halloween card, then one could use orange, purple & green.

Step 1:

Start with a piece of black, card stock. It need not be high quality but has to be able to take the wetting from the paint.


Step 2:

Use low tack, masking tape. Cut into pieces that are 2 to 5 inches long. Cut each piece into the desired shape. For our purposes, I made elongated triangles. It can be cut with straight scissors, cut with decorative edge scissors or torn. If you don’t have low tack tape, place the regular masking tape onto your cotton shirts or jean to lose some of its stickiness before placing your tape onto the black card stock.


You could also use any masking material that will hold up to wet paint, will not curl or allow the paint to bleed under it (at least not too much).

Step 3:

Placement. When I was first shown this technique, I did the masking tape in the same way as in the first sample. Your masking tape becomes the shard of the glass sticking from the frame edge into the center of the art work. Looks nice to begin with but this technique covers everything that the masking tape doesn’t cover with Lumiere, pearl paint. So what is black, becomes white.


So what I came up with was to place my masking tape from the center out to the frame edge. When you are finished, I think this looks more like a real, broken pane of glass.


Step 4:

Cover with Lumiere, Pearl Paint. I use a long stippling brush. Use a brush or your fingers, whatever works for you.


This is what it looks like when I start. You will have to keep pressing down the masking tape until the area gets covered with paint. So strike a loose tape piece straight up and down with the brush to make it lay down in the way you want it to be.


Note I added a little Lumiere, gold paint with my finger to the center of the piece with the pearl paint was still wet. Add enough pearl paint so it looks slightly gray. If the paint is too thick, it will be white and that is not the end of the piece but it may lead to trouble later. Overall do put on a medium layer of paint. You want a little of the black showing through, NOT A LOT!


Step 5:

Then I added green paint to the outside edge. I put a drop of green paint on a pallet (paper that paint will not leak through) and then with some pearl on my stipple brush, I mixed the green up and added it to the work. You could also add the green paint with a finger. Warning: again, work with the piece wet. If it starts showing marks, let it dry more and then add another layer.

If you put too much color onto your piece, let it dry a little then go back and layer on a light layer of pearl paint. See you can cover up your mistakes.


Step 6:

Let dry 15 to 30 minutes. How long will depend on your humidity and how thick you put the paint on.

Stamp with Dye, Brilliance, Versafine or whatever black you have chosen. How dark to stamp is a matter of taste. How much do you want the images to compete with the black “center.”


As I mentioned, I don’t recommend really bold stamps or really fine line stamps. I don’t recommend photo stamps at all. When you see how much drops out due to the masking tape, raised edge and the uneven surface, I think you will understand why certain stamps will not work.

Step 7:

After the stamping is dry: Now comes the fun part. Gently pull off the masking tape. I usually start with the sharp end.

For that very first piece, go slowly and admire the cliff of paint that is revealed. Well a very short cliff but I marvel at how much it looks like the edge of the pane of glass to me. Yeah I’m weird but it gives me a thrill and it is what I really love about the shattered glass technique in addition to the ultimate result.

Keep in mind the order in which you placed the tape and more or less reverse direction. Usually I get all or most of the ends started (looks like a spider with its legs in the air) and then work to lift up the “ball” in the center.


Step 8:

Now you can call your work done, but I was let in on a “secret” last step that I think really added to the final results.

Over-stamp all the black areas with a fine stamp, inked in Brilliance Pearlescent Beige. As I said, no other ink will work as well when you are doing black base with pearl glass shards. Somehow that beige mostly disappears into the glass but the part that shows up on the black, oolala, it softens the overall result. It just looks so much better to me. Alas my sample can barely show this.


I used an Oriental script stamp.

Here are some other versions:



Use other ways of applying the masking shape, either cutting it with decorative scissors, or leaving a shape open such as this kimono


Completed Kimono


Stamping on black cardstock in silver before beginning the shattered glass process


Using a light-colored background (stamped image colored with H2O’s)

Please do share your results with us on the Shattered Glass Gallery on Flickr

T. Linda S

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