I’ve been thinking about using a lightbox for glass painting for quite a few years. One of the things which put me off in the past was the price. You could easily pay £80+ for one! When cheaper ones did come out, made by a craft company for general craft work, they were sloped. This would obviously make them difficult to use in glass painting.
Over the last couple of years a multitude of cheap LED light boxes have been released. Whilst the main purpose of these lightboxes is tracing it doesn’t take much to convert them to something you can use for glass painting. They are light, energy efficient and above all, FLAT.
Using a Lightbox for Glass Painting.
So I bought my lightbox off Ebay from a company based in the UK. It arrived surprisingly quickly and obviously I tested it out the same day.
As soon as I plugged it I realised I would have to make some changes. It was very bright and had a very hypnotic pattern on it. (see picture on right). The brightness is obviously due to it being used for tracing. It is expected that on top of the lightbox you would have the picture you want to copy and the sheet you are going to copy it on to. So my solution was quite simple. I place a sheet of paper over the top of the lightbox taping it underneath. (In fact I used two sheets as one wasn’t enough to cover it). In addition to lessening the brightness and covering the pattern I realised this would have another benefit. It would act as a protector for the lightbox. Anytime I spilt too much paint on it I could just take it off and replace it.
The main reason for using a lightbox is it will immediately show up any gaps you have in your painting. Normally I do this by lifting my work up slightly but using a lightbox is a much easier method. As soon as I started using it I noticed the difference. Any gaps, even quite small ones were immediately evident.
There isn’t a lot more to say about the lighbox. It does what I needed it to and does it well. It is obviously limited in the size of work it can accommodate but if you do a lot of larger work you can buy a lager lightbox. Some 3d work will benefit from it but not all. Mainly I will use it for flat work. If you get gaps in your work and/or if your eyes aren’t perhaps as good as they once were (which I suspect is the case with me) then the chances are you will benefit from using one of these.