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Phillip the Duck painted by Mele Flórez Avellán This image is a photo that I took of one of my paintings, I approve its use in Wikipedia - Mele Flórez Avellán. Licensed under GNU FDL

Multiple artists have used the Vitralism art movement in the last 10 years, see Flickr group.

Vitralism is 21st-century art movement that uses broken color (similar to Impressionism) and line extension to achieve a "stained glass" look and effect. Light and dark colors are painted in many layers with round sponges (the kind used for a stencil) giving the broken color a transparent quality that simulates the light through a stained glass window. see example painting. The background is done entirely with sponges. The subject may or may not be painted with sponges; brushes are used to paint the subject to create texture contrast.

Line extensions contribute to integrate the painted subject with its background. Acrylic paints are the preferred medium for its fast-drying quality, which prevents the mixing of colors on the canvas and keeps the colors almost pure and separated.

Here are several photos of paintings created using this method

The name Vitralism comes from the Spanish word "Vitral" which means stained-glass. The word vitral comes from the Latin root Vitrum, which means glass.


Some of the characteristics of Vitralism painting include:

  • Round-like strokes on the background and possibly on the subject
  • Brush-applied strokes on the subject
  • Dark extension lines
  • Single subject
  • Unity of color – each "piece" of the painting contains part of the color of its adjacent neighbor piece, particularly on the background
  • Subjects from nature


While experimenting with acrylic colors for the first time, artist Mele Flórez Avellán started testing the paints on a masonite board. With a base of semi-gloss house paint, she started to apply color to her subject. To her discontent, the brush-applied strokes didn’t stick on the support the way she expected. It was not an opaque covering but semi-transparent. Since Mele already took the time to design her painting, she decided to look around her work area to see what could be used to make this a successful painting. Being a crafty person throughout her whole life, her work area was filled with all sorts of gadgets. She took a stencil sponge, dipped it in paint and lightly touched the support with the sponge. She liked what she saw. The addition of white, silver and gold paints gave the painting more light. The line extensions were then darkened to create a strong contrast.


  • Color is applied on the support with tapping movements, lightly touching the support, without dragging the sponges.
  • Extension lines are painted with the edge of the round sponges in the same fashion.
  • Light mixing of colors occur on the support to make the transition between colors.
  • Varnish (gloss or semi-gloss) is applied to the painting when it is fully dry.


Vitralism uses mainly subjects from nature, like birds, leaves and butterflies.