If you’re looking for a description of how I did this, what I used, and potential pitfalls without all the nonsense, skip to the end.
It’s coming up to Christmas and so yep, I’m back on my bullshit. I confess I have no idea how the dinosaur theme got started or what they have to do with Christmas, it was all extremely ‘well fuck, I’m an artist and I want to art, what can I do?’ Back in 2013 (I think?) and it wasn’t long after thinking about windows as a massively under utilised potential art space.
For a few years I included a penguin with a balloon but this year has been a tough one, especially on my mental health, and so I wanted something BRIGHT. ALL the colours. And so now we have a dinosaur with lots of balloons. He’s called Hank.
Jeff Goldblum entered the picture last year after Shortlist magazine did the most charismatic and colourful photo shoot with him. I was going to just make a star for my cactus (it’s a plant, that makes it basically a tree. I live in a forest, I know these things) but was stuck for choice so added some strings of beads and baubles. This year has the addition of tinsel to the Jeffs to boot.
The three inflatable dinosaurs were a gift from my brother last Christmas, and after the plans of filling them with helium and tying them to a greengage tree so they flew over my house for summer fell through, this seemed like the next logical step.
It was nice to get it all done, it made good use of a good health day and it’s inspiring others to both utilise windows for art, and add weird shit to their decorations.
The window painting , instructions.
It was done using acrylic paints (big up Winsor and Newton 👍🏻), a brush, cotton wool, a cloth, and a chalk pen.
I chalked the outline into the window with a liquid chalk pen, left it to dry, then went over it with black acrylic. Once that had dried (only about 15 mins with a fan pointed at it) I started filling in with colour and using a rag and cotton wool to dab it, getting rid of brush strokes and adding texture.
At the end, once dried and because I’m lazy and didn’t want to be careful, I went over a lot of the black lines again to get rid of any lingering bits of colour that went over the edges. The window is framed with strong fairy lights to really get it contrasted against the white net curtains.
Although watercolours seem like a great idea for doing this given ease of cleaning, condensation will cause the paint to run. Likewise glass paints are not ideal as it causes many of them to peel. Acrylics are durable and the most you’ll get is some cracking, but it is more work to remove it (I use a scraper with sharp blades!).