Both adults and children
alike marvel at the grand,
vivid stained-glass windows
created by American artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. Today he
is commonly recognized as one of
America’s most influential designers and artists
throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth
century. In this lesson,
students created their own
imagined landscape collages drawing inspiration
from Tiffany’s idealized
landscape window designs.
This project provides a safe
and aesthetically pleasing
way for middle-school students to simulate the look
of stained glass.
closer than smaller ones), and detail
(objects in the foreground generally
have much detail, which tends to
fade into the background). Simple
questions help students arrive at
“tricks” to construct a foreground,
middle ground, and background.
After students sketch their basic
ideas, ask them to make sure that
their drawings consist solely of
First, students spend one
whole class viewing and
responding to projected
digital images of landscape
windows by Louis Comfort
Tiffany. Questions should
focus around what kinds of
natural and human-made
objects the artist included
in his landscapes and how
he was able to successfully
create the illusion of depth
on a flat surface.
Through directed questions,
students devise a list of “tricks”
that Tiffany may have used to represent deep
in front seem
(objects in a higher field of vision
will appear farther away than lower
objects), size (larger objects appear
these devices: What is the closest
object to us in this picture? How
can you tell? Which objects seem
to be far away?
Students created their own What makes
collages In this lesson, drawing you think so?
inspiration from Tiffany’s class, students
landscape window designs. plan unique
drawings on standard white paper.
The goal for each drawing is to cre-
ate an illusion of three-dimensional
space by using the aforementioned
shapes. This is important for the
next steps in the project.
Procedures for Students
• Draw a ½" ( 1 cm) border around
the edges of 18 x 24" black construction paper.
• Transfer sketch to black paper
using a white pencil. Make sure
lines in the drawing have both a
beginning and an end so that it
only consists of shapes (enclosed
areas of space).