I have decided to update this post as the stop motion video of our festive window has gone viral somewhere and I get a lot of questions.
First of all, the window scene was hand drawn by my mom who is a very talented artist. There was no tracing, or projection. It’s all freehand. I tend to have a vision of the scenes I want on the windows and we have a chat about it before she commences, and I usually hang around during the process. You can see me in the video adding gem stones to the scene.
The Christmas window of 2020 was a woodland winter wonderland. I wanted to choose something a little bit different to work with the craft projects we had been working on as well as the colour scheme of the kitchen – so the scene was accompanied with these paper crafted houses made from a template on my digital cutting machine, glued together and then placed over battery powered candles to give them an internal glow.
This mural was hand drawn using new Chalkola pens which are extra chunky and so perfect for drawing huge murals on the windows. We also mix these with Posca Pens which have a different texture and are harder to wash off – both of these contain super pigemnted ink which can be used on non porus surfaces such as glass and chalkboards to create a mural which can be wiped clean, or you can use them to create permanent art on fabric, wood, paper and card.
These pens can be quite expensive – you can purchase packs with various colours and nib sizes in Co-ordinated groups or as individual pens. You shake and prime each pen to get the ink flowing by pumping it down on to a flat cardboard surface and then you’re set to go.
The large 15mm nib sounds daunting but you can achieve all sorts of different results by utilising different mark making techniques, holding the nib at an angle and varying the pressure to create different effects.
The overall level of detail and finished appearance is awe inspiring – it was so much fun people watching that year as everybody who walked past paused to look inside – this was especially important in 2020 when the world was in such a difficult situation where communication was limited due to social distancing. It was our way of maintaining a sense of community, sharing the festive spirit and bringing some positivity in to our lives. It really was a special window so I’m glad it’s getting the attention it deserves, long after it has been wiped clean.
I did think some hints and tips to create your own window might be valuable:
1. Gather Your Supplies:
Start by collecting the necessary materials. Invest in high-quality paint or chalk pens with a range of colors suitable for Christmas themes. Ensure the pens are suitable for glass surfaces to achieve vibrant and lasting results. You’ll also need window cleaner, a soft cloth, and perhaps stencils or templates for intricate designs.
2. Prep Your Surface:
Clean your window thoroughly using a window cleaner and a soft cloth to remove any dust or residue. A clean surface ensures better adhesion for the paint or chalk and allows your designs to stand out vividly. The last thing you want is to notice smudges after you’ve started as it really distracts the eye.
3. Plan Your Design:
Before diving in, plan your window design. Consider the overall theme you want to achieve—whether it’s classic Christmas motifs, winter wonderland scenes, or a whimsical display. Sketching your ideas on paper beforehand can help you visualise the layout and ensure a cohesive and balanced look.
4. Create Stencils or Templates (Optional):
If you’re aiming for detailed or symmetrical designs, consider creating stencils or templates. This step adds precision to your artwork and allows you to replicate specific shapes or patterns consistently. Stencils can be crafted from cardboard or purchased pre-made. One thing I always laugh about with my mom is that I am a stickler for the placement of text / wording. I will measure with a ruler and my moms freehand swirls stress me out!
5. Start with a Base Layer:
Use the paint or chalk pens to create a base layer on your window. This could be a snowy landscape, a starry night, or a simple frame for your design. The base layer provides a foundation for your decorations and sets the tone for the overall aesthetic.
6. Add Festive Elements:
Now, let your creativity shine as you add festive elements. Draw Christmas trees, snowflakes, ornaments, stockings, or any symbols that resonate with the holiday season. Experiment with colors to evoke the warmth and joy of Christmas. Consider outlining your designs with a contrasting color to make them pop.
7. Incorporate Text and Quotes:
Inject some holiday cheer by incorporating Christmas quotes, greetings, or even lyrics from your favorite carols. The use of elegant fonts or playful handwriting can add a personalized touch to your window decorations.
8. Embrace Dimension and Texture:
Explore different techniques to add dimension and texture to your designs. Create faux snow by using white paint or chalk to add a snowy effect to the edges of your window. Experiment with shading or layering to make certain elements stand out.
9. Consider a Scene:
Transform your window into a festive scene by drawing vignettes. A snowy village, Santa’s sleigh, or a cozy living room with a fireplace can turn your window into a captivating storybook.
10. Fine-Tune and Add Details:*
Step back periodically to assess your progress and fine-tune details. Add small touches like holly berries, twinkling stars, or intricate patterns to enhance the overall charm of your window decorations.
11. Seal the Artwork (Optional):
If you want to preserve your window art for an extended period, consider using a sealant or clear acrylic spray. This helps protect your artwork from smudging and fading over time.
12. Share the Joy:
Once your window is adorned with Christmas magic, share the joy with neighbors and passersby. Your festive window display can become a beacon of holiday spirit for the entire community.
Finally, if you have the space on a window ledge then adorn it with festive bits and bobs to add depth, and also consider your lighting. Fairy lights will make sure your window glows and will be seen from outside.