This stained glass picture, 'Fallingwater', was, for me, a labour of love. I have been fascinated by Fallingwater for over 30 years, since reading a book about the house at the time that Edgar Kaufmann Jr. gave it to the American nation in memory of his parents, when it was placed in the care of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Trust.

Apart from the frame, the whole picture was created in Paint Shop Pro 5. I used a photograph of the house as the background layer, and created another layer on which the black lines for the leading were drawn. The first lines drawn were the straight lines of the house and its terraces, which are the defining mark of Frank Lloyd Wright's design. For this I used the straight line tool, set at normal line type, width 5. The original photograph was larger than this finished picture, so the line width has been reduced proportionally when the whole image was resized at the end. Once the house outlines were complete I used the paintbrush to outline the other areas of the photograph, with no paper texture, shape round, size 5, opacity, density and hardness all 100, and step 1. I let the general colour of the areas dictate where the outlines should be drawn. Originally I drew a line across where the river plunges over the waterfall, but it looked a very artificial division in the final image, so that line was removed. When all the lines were drawn on the lead layer, they were selected and Blade Pro with Cheroke's pewter dull preset used to make the leading.

The lead layer remained the top layer throughout, and was used to select areas of the photograph. The sky was white in the original photograph, so the background (photograph) layer was made active, and in the layers menu view option the current layer only was set to be visible. The sky areas were then filled with a pale blue, and the spray can tool, set at clouds, used to add some small clouds. All layers were then made visible. Each area or group of areas for applying the glass effect was selected on the lead layer, then the background layer made active and the selection promoted to a new layer.

Blade Pro with the basic glass preset was used for the house. The texture height was raised a little for the rougher, stonework areas of the house. The texture bitmaps were changed for the rest of the picture. For the trees and grassy areas, the leaves bitmap was used, and for the natural rock areas, the pebbles bitmap. For the sky and water areas the texture was taken to 0 to give smooth glass in those areas. After all the glass areas were done, the whole picture except the sky and the water was selected, the background layer made active and the photograph image lightened. The water was also lightened a little, but the sky area was left alone. This allowed the sliders to be adjusted higher, so that the glass effect was more visible, because some of the picture's colour now came from the glass layers.

The picture was then resized so that it in most browsers it would not need to be scrolled. A copy of the image was made, the layers merged, and saved as a bitmap. The bitmap was then transferred to PhotoImpact 4 to have the frame added - a 3D frame using width 10, one of the colour ramps, and diagonal lighting direction.  


I found the pattern for this jolly parrot lurking in my Netscape cache. I must have looked at him at some time, but not downloaded him.

I coloured a second copy of him in PhotoImpact 4, using the linear fill tool and one of the more vivid colour ramps, moving the ramp round so that pale blue was at the top. The wings were selected together and filled with a simple two colour linear fill graduating from blue to green. By selecting both wings and filling them together, the smaller wing was filled with colour which matched its position in line with the larger wing. If they had been filled separately, the smaller wing would also have graduated from blue to green which would not have looked right since only part of it was visible. The gold background was also made with the linear fill tool, using the gold colour ramp. After the first fill I set transparency to 80 and went over the area several times in different directions, with the linear fill tool and the same colour ramp, to get the effect seen here. The outer ring, beak, tongue and eye were simple flood fills.

Although I can use Blade Pro in PhotoImpact 4, I find layers easier to handle in Paint Shop Pro 5, so the leading and glass work was done with Paint Shop Pro. For the gold part I used the basic glass preset, and for the outer ring, beak, tongue and eye the same preset with the texture set to 0. For the body, the texture bitmap was changed to the ringlets bitmap and the texture to 100.

The layer sliders were adjusted, to give the desired effect. The gold slider was taken down so that there was only a hint of frosting left, and the gold background showed through enough to show the variations in its colour.

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