Tuesday, February 27, 2018

5 Reasons to Draw Fused Glass Designs on the Computer

Afterglow by Lisa and Joe Vogt

One of my favorite things about glass fusing is how easily I can jump right into construction with little or no planning. If the mood strikes, I can design spontaneously looking only to the materials for inspiration and come away with a striking new project. This artistic freedom usually produces loose, freestyle patterns I love. But sometimes, I want more intricate images or designs that develop slowly from concept to construction. When that’s the case, I draw my designs on the computer.  

Initially, it’s time consuming to draw on the computer. But there are several advantages and reasons you might like to give it a try. 

Why design on the computer?

1. Drawing on the computer greatly expands the range of your design complexity. It’s easy to draw unique compositions you might otherwise be afraid to try. You can import a photograph of a herd of horses for example. You can then draw over the picture including as much or as little detail as you want. Say you like one horse more than the others. It’s easy to copy and paste that one horse several times, customizing the design to meet your vision.

Once you’ve put in the effort to draw the first horse, you can repurpose the drawing for any number of uses. Maybe you want to make a piece with only a horse head. The computer drawing is quickly edited and resized for a totally new project.

2. It’s easy to test unusual color combinations on a computer-generated pattern without any waste. I’m much more likely to use a wild color palate if I can see it in advance of cutting any glass. This feature alone, has awakened an all new level of artistic expression for me. 

3. Create an image library. As a commission artist I’m frequently asked to make the same or similar designs. Often the design is driven by regional themes. Tropical herons, dolphins, coral reef, and beach scenes are popular subjects with my local clients. My commission work is one-of-a-kind. I don’t make the exact same design twice. But I do borrow elements from previously drawn designs for new patterns. I take a heron from here, a fish from there, sea oats from another design. The elements are resized and regrouped to make a new original design.

Having an inventory of designs is a great way to accumulate popular images you can recycle over and over to make fresh, new compositions. 

Clean, clear deigns are a powerful sales tool. 

4. Clients have trouble imagining what a design will look like based solely on a verbal description. It’s easier to have a meeting of the minds and ensure customer satisfaction with a color rendering. I email the designs to my clients for review and approval. And if they want to make changes, they can be done quickly on the computer before I’ve invested labor or materials into building the job.

5. I use the Glass Eye program from Dragonfly Software. It’s intended for drawing stained glass patterns, but it works equally as well for fused glass patterns. I draw small simple projects as well as huge, complex commissions with the program. For the small pieces, I print a full-size pattern and build directly on that. For large scale works, I print a scale version of the design to use as a reference. Then I draw the full-size pattern by hand with a pencil on paper.  

You don’t have to be a professional glass artist to benefit from expanding your design approach. Whatever your skill level, beginner to advanced artist, you’ll find the time spent learning how to develop designs electronically is valuable. It’s an investment in yourself that’ll enhance your artistic style.

You got this!

Except from my Fused Art Design video DVD.

Get a behind the scenes look at the fabrication of Afterglow.

Dragonfly software, Glass Eye 2000

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks! 

Let’s get together and fuse glass!
Upcoming Classes and Webinars

Glass Craft and Bead Expo 2018
April 4 – 8, 2018
Las Vegas, NV

It’s time to get excited about the Glass Craft and Bead Expo, coming up in April. I’m offering four favorites and one new class titled, Fire and Ice. Seats are going fast so make your plans now to join me for a week of friendship, fusing and fun.

FR-18 - Breaking Through – Making Exhibition Quality Artwork
SA-22 - Fire & Ice, Hot Techniques for Cool Projects
SU-01 - Fusing Art Design!

I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and meeting new glass fans. I hope to see you in class. 

Upscale Fusing Webinar
April 24, 2018

Incorporating pattern and texture to elevate and refine your fusing style are the focus of this in-depth webinar. Join me and learn how to tastefully blend various cutting-edge techniques to add dimension and volume to your work. With the pro's secrets revealed, you'll be on the fast-track to developing winning combinations that’ll get your work noticed!

Inspiration! Confidence! Knowledge!
Advanced Glass Fusing 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop
May 8-11, 2018
Join me for this impactful workshop held in my private studio.
Wesley Chapel, Florida, 4-Day, Hands-on, Class size is limited.

Exceed your expectations! In this intense, 4-day workshop you’ll utilize the many advanced techniques today’s successful glass artists are using to elevate their work from craft to fine art. This all-new program is ideal for ambitious glass fusers ready to go bigger and explore more in-depth kiln forming techniques.

Something new! Check out my new writer’s blog.
Writer – Instructor – Artist

Relationships fascinate me, and so I have a new blog dedicated to the weird and wonderful ways we interact with each other.

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