Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Window To Future Possibilities

The original working sketch
I finally finished the window I was discussing a few days ago. It was somewhat like I envisioned but of course the reality is a always a bit different. Here was the initial working sketch (see left.)

It was kinda crude. When I got to the actual window I realized I had two choices, really BIG images or adding more floral elements. I opted for more elements and that outline was done with a Sharpie in black (see below) that would be used as a guide for the black leading of the various elements.
Outlined and ready to be painted

Since they were going to put it outside against a wall (I found this out later) there was much concern on my part about the effect of light shining through. Each and every brushstroke was seen and I went crazy putting layers of paint to cover these strokes. It didn't work.  Nor did soft brushes that you are admonished to use.

I used DecoArt outdoor leading paint that had a nozzle that you squeezed creating a rather crude leading (well, since this was my first time, it is rather crude.) However, since the paint and putty are also falling off the frame it all fits!

Then came hours of painting. I bet I used over 20 different colors creating the floral elements. The paints are all DecoArt's new Satin paint with the exceptions of several glossy outdoor paints. Those paints worked well though I had many issues with DecoArt's Satins. To get any coverage at all, I had to use a stirrer to get enough pigment from the bottom, it would not mix when shaken; that was a drag. You can see that in the photo at left. I should add I love DecoArt acrylic paints and have well over 200 but feel the Satins are not ready for prime time. In fact as I write this I wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to create a primer for metal and glass to get an object ready for the actual color. You are already putting at least two coats on everything so a primer could cut down on many painted layers trying to get an streakless opaque finish.

Completed window in all its glory!
I also used an outdoor DecoArt Chalk paint for the sky and even after several layers found that it will scratch off very easily even a few days later. Since it is too big for an oven, it would be best to let it cure the 21 days they recommend. Do not touch during the curing!

Would I do this again? Certainly. There were many lessons though that I needed to learn and I feel they are different with a window than a mirror. Here are a few:

I had to pick the more interesting wood detail and then turn the frame over and paint literally backwards on the glass. While I limited my self to three layers you have to remember that the first color has to be the top layer. Flowers with yellow centers have the center put on first, then the next color, petals or whatever and then the final closing color. You will do some scraping when you turn it over and see the lovely details are gone.

Detail of the bottom floral painting

I would advise you limit your palette. I used far too many colors. It was fun though. The other lesson was that I discovered with care you could blend colors. These last two photos are the window as seen from the front, not the back that is a bit rougher in appearance.

A mirror would be different only in what you paint is like painting a painting. Neatness counts and there is no backside to worry about or to hide your mistakes.

I went up to Blick's in Pasadena the other day for some guidance and I realized quickly that I knew more than the salesman did. I had watched a few YouTube videos but never got the answers I wanted and needed.

I wondered if there is a final coat I can put over the paint to that will help to seal it. I also considered painting the back with an opaque paint that would make sure no light went through to show all the brushstrokes. There is another glass paint company but it is far more transparent so not what I wanted. The other companies, Golden included, did not have much so I realized that choices were limited. I will be watching this window that while protected somewhat will spend its life outdoors.

If you have an old window around, experiment. You will have great fun!

I have a store, KrugsStudio so if you are interested in a variety of birdhouses or crafts, photography or one of a kind paintings, please be sure to check out that store as well. Be sure to tell your friends, artists or not about this blog and my store!

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