Having been approached by a client to produce a new stained glass window featuring William Holman Hunt’s renowned painting featuring Christ as “The Light of the World” our initial design process has had to solve a number of problems specific to this project.
The first of these was how to re-interpret Holman Hunt’s original single image to fit into a window that is actually two separate lights? Having given a great deal of consideration to this, we produced an initial rough draft sketch which provided our client with an indication of how the commission could appear. Our solution to the problem of making the original work in two separate spaces was to extend the back-ground landscape from left to right and to include the original Biblical passage which inspired Holman Hunt in the first instance, taken from Revelations 3:20.
Having presented this initial sketch to the client for both their and the church council’s approval, development of our draft sketch into a fully detailed and coloured presentation design provided our second problem; how to effectively read and represent the detail of the original painting, essentially a very dark, subtly lit work. To assist us in this we utilized a number of very high resolution images of the original allowing us to fully appreciate Holman Hunt’s masterly use of both light and colour. Our own design was then built up in layers, including its principle visual elements, text and font types, the inclusion of guide lead and construction lines and finally the application of colour. The first draft was produced entirely by hand using ink and coloured pencils with subsequent minor alterations (at the request of the client) carried out using Photoshop.
Having received written approval for our design from the client, we are now awaiting the granting of a Faculty by the Diocesan Advisory Committee which will then allow us to proceed with production of the window itself.
It is our intention to visit and view William Holman Hunt’s original work of art which resides in the chapel of Keble College, Oxford. Not only will this serve to provide us with additional insight into the paintings finer detail, but also give a little first-hand inspiration prior to beginning the process of producing our stained glass.
The images show our process of design development from the initial rough draft through to the completed presentation art-work.