I first started experimenting with window art at my job a few years ago. We had big bay windows and I had to use a ladder to paint the top. My art has come a long way since then, and it’s true what they say – practice makes perfect! Now I don’t want to say that where I am now is perfect, but I can honestly say that I take pride in my artwork and it is worth the hour that it takes to scrape off all the paint afterwards.
We bought our first home in Wetaskiwin almost a year ago, and since then I have been experimenting with the window paint A LOT more! I started at Halloween, since I knew that we would have lots of kids visiting the house who would see the artwork. (We have a corner lot on a busy street – lots of traffic.)
Next, I did some Christmas/winter themed windows in November. I like to leave them up as long as possible as it makes the cleaning more worth it.
For St.Patrick’s Day we had a lucky leprechaun wishing everyone luck!
And for Easter, we have a “hoppy” Easter bunny! 😉
The design I will use to walk you through this is Valentine’s day. To preface, we are a BIG Star Wars home. My husband, step-son, and I each have a real-life lightsaber made of plexi glass, we have a room in the house dedicated to Lego and Star Wars, and we routinely watch the whole series. Needless to say, we were all pretty excited for the new movie! But back on track – I decided to do a Star Wars themed Valentine’s message. I started by googling some punny quotes, because those are my favourite. I hit gold with the one I found, “Yoda Obi Wan for me!”
Next, I googled for a cartoon image of both Yoda and Obi Wan Kenobi and chose an image of each that I thought I could realistically draw. In this case I also googled a Star Wars font to get an idea of what each letter should look like.
Once I had my images picked out, it was time to get to work! I always start with a dry erase marker on the window, as it makes it easy to erase and start over if I make mistakes. I find it easiest to do a black outline of each part of the image, and then when painting I can adjust as necessary. These were my versions of the images above.
Next, I use a very fine brush to do a black outline of each of the images, and I used white for the words. (I find that white is the easiest colour to see, so whenever I do printed words on the window, I usually use white for the font or paint over the background in white to give it contrast.) After the first coat has dried, I always go over with a second coat to really crisp up the words and fill in any of the brush strokes. Window painting is all about layering. Whatever you want to be visible on top has to go on first – in this case, the outline. Below shows the first coat on the left and second coat on the right.
Next, we add colour! I use dollar store acrylic paints; they are about $1.50 each and do the trick really well. I get all the basics and then mix to get specific colours I want. For example, to make a skin-tone I use a gold base, then add white, red, and orange.
Et voila! (I use Christmas lights on the inside of the window for effect. I find it gives our house a nice festive look, and makes it easier to see the artwork at night.)
And finally, a finished product! (nighttime vs daytime)
Please comment if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future paintings! Thanks for reading! 🙂