Fresco Hall Stained Glass window- the making

As I have mentioned about last year, for quite a time I’ve been doing some painting work with the help of others in the making of a spectacular “Fresco Hall” or murals in a simple bathroom, this also includes a complex stained glass on the bathroom’s window. This time, I have made an update to the bathroom’s paintings, in particular a small addition to the stained glass window. This art I have put into the window is originally inspired by a small portion of the actual stained glass window found in the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. My window design was made replacing an older and much more plain design of the original bathroom stained glass window, and now it has the design of the French fleur-e-lys pattern with red linings and a red frame with alternating designs, around it is a red and green checkered pattern, and in fact it did not take too long to make.

finished product of the new stained glass portion
finished product of the new stained glass portion
The whole window set with the new portion stained glass
The whole window set with the new portion stained glass

Beginning the whole stained glass renewal and bathroom paintings restoration project, I of course begin with a plan for the project and a design for the stained glass. First of all the original piece that inspired this stained glass project is a stained glass piece found placed into one of the walls of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris but not a stained glass piece in the large windows itself as it would be too difficult to copy the design of the 15 windows of the Sainte-Chapelle (found in the middle of the Palais de Justice in the Ile de la Cite, Paris). The window from the Sainte-Chapelle I’m trying to make my own version out of may not be an original 13th century made stained glass window. That window in particular is very small but I’ve spotted it when I was in the Sainte-Chapelle and thought of doing something like it when I do a bathroom restoration project as it looks simple to make and does not use too much colors. When making the window design, I did not end up using too many colors which would end up being useless but only used a few colors; black, red, blue, yellow, gold, green, and white and only used 3 paint brushes in the making. When making the whole thing, I begin with a sketch of the design on paper to make a draft for me to follow to do the actual paining itself. To guide me while painting the windows, I placed a print out of the picture of the actual window in the Sainte-Chapelle and the sheet with my sketch. Afterwards, the actual painting of the window begins, starting by outlining the frame with black marker then traced with black paint for the permanent frame. When making the stained glass window, I use painting as a method for making it rather than the longer medieval way of patching up glass, which would take longer, but when painting the design on the window, I did as precisely as possible.

Original design from the Sainte-Chapelle, Paris
Original design from the Sainte-Chapelle, Paris
Sketch for the window design
Sketch for the window design
Starting off the window painting
Starting off the window painting

The painting progress of the window begins first with scraping off the old design painted on the window, which has been around for 2years now, but this old design has been replaced with this stained glass project. When the old window design is gone, the whole lower part of the right window is empty leaving this empty space to be the exact same spot where the new window design would be. With the portion of the window plain and clear, the painting work begins with the outlining of the frame, first with black marker then black paint over it making the lining. The first thing outlined is the frame; first an inner box forming an arch above, the next layer is the outer box much larger and also forming an arch above, outside the arched boxes is the diamond patterns for the alternating red and green. The arched pattern goes with 2 layers, the inner and outer, the inner arch first curves then makes a straight slanted line meeting with a circular pattern enclosed at the top, which would be left plain without any paint serving as a light hole, the original Sainte-Chapelle stained glass does not have this light hole though. The next step is making the pattern within the inner box, made up of symmetrical intersecting red lines, intersected with yellow squares, forming symmetrical diamonds between the lines, which is original to the Sainte-Chapelle stained glass. Within the diamonds, the fleur-de-lys pattern goes next outlined then painted within each diamonds, if the diamonds are only half as it touches the black borer, the fleur-de-lys would be cut in half as well. The next step in the making would be the design in the outer box layer, this would be the design of the gold Castilian castle and the white York rose alternating each other going around the frame of the box, the patterns curve to as it reaches the curved portion above. After this, the next step is coating the gold fleur-de-lys with the blue background giving it a traditional French look, the blue has to be carefully done without overlapping and must be surrounding the fleur-de-lys and within the red lines. The inner box lines with the gold and blue patterns is also lined with white bordering right next to the black outline separating the inner and outer box in order to follow the Sainte-Chapelle pattern, when doing the white, it must be thinly done making it look like an extra border where the blue and gold ends but the red lines and yellow intersecting squares overlap it. After this, the next step is painting the red background for the outer box between the castles and white rose patterns, the red background for the outer frame is also seen in the Sainte-Chapelle version as well. Next goes, the outside squares already as the actual window pattern is almost done; the outer squares however is much easier to make, as the red and green squares only alternate each other, in the intersecting points of the green and red squares would be the same gold-yellow intersecting small squares again, and to make it properly proportioned and aligned, black paint is used again to line the squares over the colored glass. Lastly is the finishing touches, here the whole window design is mastered where no mess is left and everything must be perfectly aligned, proportioned, and completely colored, most of the paints are used again but used less already and only to make the colors complete. Most of all, black is used again to properly line the design and make it aligned well, afterwards, its all done.

starting with the outline
starting with the outline
Full outline of the window
Full outline of the window
Window with the red lines with diamonds in the middle for fleur-de-lys design
Window with the red lines with diamonds in the middle for fleur-de-lys design
The flour de-lys and castle and white rose pattern added
The flour de-lys and castle and white rose pattern added
The blue background for the diamonds added
The blue background for the diamonds added
The red backgrounds and red squares added
The red backgrounds and red squares added
Almost done with the colours finished
Almost done with the colours finished

As the whole painting progress is done, the window can be seen differently during day and night. After all, its just a small portion of the whole stained glass windows that was done but it still gives more vivid detail to the window rather than just alternating squares like before. As the window is complete, it is best seen during day especially when the light is at its brightest, here the window can be seen in its natural colors as the sunlight hits it, in fact the outside can be slightly seen with light passing through but it cannot be seen to clearly with the puzzle of colors. The window during night is completely different as the colors look much more flat without natural light but the precision of colors is seen much better at night without any light passing through. However, during sunset or sunrise is the best time to see the window as the light slowly changes making the perspective of the colors change slowly. When seeing the window itself, a mix of art, especially of medieval symbols of Europe is seen making it a medieval cultural reproduction having the symbols of France (the fleur-de-lys), Castile (the castle), and England (the white rose) combined giving it an authentic medieval look. Most of the window’s design remained true to the original Sainte-Chapelle window, except for the light hole above and the alternating green and red squares outside the frame. Rather than the window itself, the bathroom restoration project includes a few new painted tiles on the walls. There are 4 different examples of the new tiles of the walls added in this restoration project; the national symbol of Medieval and Renaissance France, which is the 3 fleur-de-lys with a white divider and blue background, the other is the seal of Rome with the gold eagle and wreath with red background and the standard (SPQR), the other seal on the tiles is the Genoa football team seal, one of my favorite football team seals, and lastly is the design of the classic Byzantine war flag giving a piece of Byzantium into the whole art filled bathroom.

Night view of the new window design
Night view of the new window design
Day view of the window design
Day view of the window design
SPQR Roman symbol tile
SPQR Roman symbol tile
Byzantine war flag tile
Byzantine war flag tile
Medieval French symbol tile
Medieval French symbol tile
Genoa symbol tile
FC Genoa symbol tile
The window at sunset
The window at sunset
Full window in warm color
Full window in warm color

Overall, doing the whole restoration project was not as difficult as I expected it an in fact took quick in the making. Mainly, not much was done this time compared to before, but the highlight of all this was making the window. This time, what is new to me is working on a painting design with advanced planning and an advanced sketch, also I had design kept in my mind ever since seeing the original piece in Paris but of course it does not have its medieval originality any more but is still something unique. True enough, it is a lot better and faster to work with a plan of the actual thing, anyway hope the newly installed stained glass stands strong… thanks for viewing!

A Homemade Museum of Military Figures and Sketches (Musée de L’armée dans Maison)

Some time before, I have mentioned about my vast collection of military figures from different historical periods. Now I have made a type of “museum” displaying these figures accompanied by my sketches of historical period soldiers, weapons, and siege items. This sort of museum in my house is called the “Musée de L’armée dans maison” in French, which means the homemade army museum based on the original Musée de L’armée in the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris, which shows a massive collection of the history of the French army from the 13th– 20th centuries. The one I put up on the other hand shows a small but extensive collection of military scale model figures from almost every country in Europe dating from antiquity (4th century BC) to the 17th century having all sorts of soldiers, knights, legionnaires, warriors, and even samurais. The first and ultimate collectors items military figures are above the upper shelf arranged left to right in chronological order, behind them are my sketches of siege weapons (the chart of Roman siege items behind the Roman figures and the Byzantine siege weapons behind the Byzantine figures) while a postcard of Renaissance swords, guns, and helmets are behind the Renaissance figures. The scale model figures go from Greek, to Roman, to Barbarian, to Byzantine, to Medieval, to Renaissance, to Ottoman, here’s the list of the figures:

  • Macedonian Cavalryman 4th cent BC.
  • Roman Legionnaire 2nd cent
  • Roman Auxiliary 1st cent BC.
  • Roman Praetorian Guardsman 1st cent
  • Roman Centurion 1st cent
  • Frankish Soldier 6th cent
  • Byzantine Cataphract 11th cent
  • Varangian Guardsman (Byzantine) 12th cent
  • Spanish Knight 15th cent
  • English Knight 15th cent
  • Italian Knight 16th cent
  • German Knight 16th cent
  • French Musketeer 17th cent
  • Ottoman Sipahi Guardsman 15th cent
  • Ottoman Janissary 16th cent
  • Macedonian Cavalryman, Roman Legionnaire, Praetorian Guardsman, Roman Auxiliary, Roman Centurion figures
    Macedonian Cavalryman, Roman Legionnaire, Roman Auxiliary, Praetorian Guardsman, Roman Centurion
    Frankish soldier, Byzantine Cataphract, Varagian Guardsman, Spanish Knight, English Knight
    Frankish soldier, Byzantine Cataphract, Varagian Guardsman
    Spanish Knight, English Knight, Italian Knight, German Knight
    Spanish Knight, English Knight, Italian Knight, German Knight
    French Musketeer, Ottoman Guardsman, Ottoman Janissary
    French Musketeer, Ottoman Guardsman, Ottoman Janissary

    Full view of the Figures on the shelf
    Full view of the Figures on the shelf

Displayed on the walls are sheets with some of my sketches of historical soldier sets, which happen to be the best of them. First of all is the sheet with the 2 Greek Hoplites, the one on the left with white armor, a helmet, red cape, and a spear with a shield, the one on the right has a blue cape, bronze plated armor, a large round shield and a Greek sword. Below it is the sketch of 3 Roman military figures of the Roman army, a centurion, a standard bearer, and a praetorian guardsman. The next one below it shows 2 Byzantine military figures, the Varangian guards, soldiers from Nordic countries and Russia who served in protecting the Byzantine empire, both these Varangian guards carry a sword and axe or mace, have scaled armor, and a green cape. Right below it are 2 charts of weapons, one showing ancient Greek weapons, the other showing Roman weapons. The set with Greek weapons shows some of them including swords, javelins, bows, and daggers but lacking in spears and large round shields; the Roman weapon set on the other hand shows some swords, daggers, shields, bows, a banner, helmet, but lacking spears. The other wall shows historical maps (my sketches too) one of them is Europe in the 500’s (6th century), the other is Europe in the 1200’s (13th century), and the other is Europe in the 1700’s (18th century). In each map, it shows how the geography of Europe has changed over the centuries; such as in the 6th century, Europe was still made up of large kingdoms ruled by different tribes, as in the 13th century Europe is made of some small but some large kingdoms, but in the 18th century Europe’s kingdom’s were larger and some started forming empires but some remained as small independent states. Anyway, there is still a lot more to go in the collection.

Greek Hoplites and Roman military figures sketches
Greek Hoplites and Roman military figures sketches
IMG_2784
Byzantine Varangian Guards sketch
IMG_2785
Greek weapons chart (above) Roman weapons chart (below)
Europe Map 13th century with medieval charts and sketches
Europe Map 13th century with medieval charts and sketches
Europe Map 6th century (above) Europe Map 18th century (below)
Europe Map 6th century (above) Europe Map 18th century (below)

The next shelf shows the medieval army collection, of course above it are a few charts and sketches, and one of them is a postcard showing a full-scale crusader knight’s armor, showing its parts and weapons, although it is in French. The sketches show 6 different medieval soldier units; a Hospitaler knight, a Jerusalem knight, a Saracen soldier, an English longbow archer, a French knight, and a Spanish knight. On the table are the 4 medieval soldier figures:

  • Flemish Cavalry Knight 13th cent
  • English Archer 14th cent
  • French knight 14th cent
  • Italian Cavalry Knight 15th cent
  • Medieval military figures (Flemish Knight, English Archer, French Knight, Italian Knight)
    Medieval military figures (Flemish Knight, English Archer, French Knight, Italian Knight)

The next table has more of the figures but before the figure; let’s first go with the sketches and charts above. First of all is my sketch of the Byzantine military basics with the Byzantium war flag, basic weapons, a shield, Byzantine symbols, and a figure of a Byzantine army captain. Below is the chart of Byzantine weapons such as swords, shields, daggers, spears, a banner, a crossbow, and an early rifle. There is also a postcard showing the different types of French imperial guards of the 19th century, though this may look out of place, so does the Japanese print beside it. On the table, there are 7 figures, one side shows some other medieval European figures, while the other side shows a distinct Japanese Samurai collection, here’s the list:

  • Saracen Soldier 12th cent
  • Hospitaler Knight 13th cent
  • Polish Cavalry Knight 15th cent
  • Samurai standard bearer 16th cent
  • Samurai Spearman 16th cent
  • Samurai Katana warriors 16th cent
  • Samurai Katana warriors, Samurai spearman, Samurai standard bearer, Polish cavalry knight, Saracen soldier, and Hospitaler knight (sadly broken down) and Japanese traditional print and French Imperial Guard postcard behind
    Samurai Katana warriors, Samurai spearman, Samurai standard bearer, Polish cavalry knight, Saracen soldier, and Hospitaler knight (sadly broken down) and Japanese traditional print and French Imperial Guard postcard behind
  • Sketch of Byzantine military basics and army captain (above) sketch of Byzantine weapons (below)
    Sketch of Byzantine military basics and army captain (above) sketch of Byzantine weapons (below)

    IMG_2805

This is all now for my homemade military figures collection museum, if you were all wondering what it has, this is what. To give it more of a museum look rather than house decorations, I put different charts and panels with the warfare theme behind the figures to make it looks like it has a theme relating to the history period of each soldier, also there are flags beside the labels of the soldiers to point out which country it is from. The homemade museum of course is not overall the figures coming from different countries itself but on the charts and historical drawings it has, all of it put together to make history alive and visible in the same room, that’s all for now, thanks for viewing!