Figurative opalescent windows use the character and color flow of the glass and lead to create detail in the window. Little to no paint is applied to the window, aside from flesh and other detailed pieces such as animals. Glass is selected to accentuate the design and detail of the window and is often more intricately cut than painted counterparts. These windows are often subdivided into areas of narrative scenes and areas of geometric borders.
The type of glass used in these windows is considered to be opalescent. It is characterized by streaks of color and a milky, iridescent appearance. While it is more opaque than typical translucent stained glass, the two are commonly used in conjunction with one another. Additionally, opalescent glass aids in controlling the amount of sunlight that passes through windows. In turn, this decreases sun glare and helps to keep room temperatures stable.