My First Day Painting Holiday Windows

It is an interesting hobby, this window painting.

My business started over 30 years ago and it is still a large part of my life even though I don’t paint as often.

Over the past couple of years I have worked on getting my portfolio organized and resetting my themes and images so I can go tackle Christmas and other holidays with my paintings. The economy has hampered my business tremendously but I hope to call on more clients in the near future.

In a story I wrote you will read about how I got started window painting. My First day painting windows was when I was 14. The details are in this lens on Squidoo. It was a great day for me as you will find out why:

A Day In The Life Of A Holiday Window Painter

Image: M Burgess

Candy Canes And Reindeer Holiday Designs

candy cane reindeer flag Image Amazon
Candy Cane Reindeer Flag – Amazon

Candy Canes and Reindeer combine beautifully in this Holiday design. 

In Holiday window decorating certain elements can be used together for your original paintings and style.

I love the dark background on this design. It brings out the red in the candy cane stripes and the reindeer’s nose quite nicely. Holiday designs like this one incorporate several ideas into a personal signature for an artist. Adapt your style using several elements that traditionally represent the holiday you are decorating for.

In creating panel designs for awkward windows, a solid color layered with a really cute image may be just the thing for decorating. I wouldn’t use this on a main storefront. Shop keepers and clerks need to keep an eye on pedestrians coming and out of a business. I would use this style for the lower portion of a door. Use a design like this to tie in your whole scheme.

I love this little reindeer’s smug smile. It is like he knows what Santa is bringing you and it is a gift you will totally love! The accents of candy cane stripping is very creative.  It demonstrates several patterns that can be useful when you design your striped candy borders or touches. These colors blend very well together.

Taping this design off would be your best course of action. Start with the large rectangular back ground then add a tape guide to the candy cane stripe border. In this method you would be able to paint straight lines easily. Pull the tape off afterwards and you have smooth lines in your image.

I would begin painting with a white base where I wanted the reindeer then fill the rectangle in with black. It might be helpful to set a blotch of white where the stars are but in a window design you can scrape a small shape into the paint when it dries and allow the interior light to shine through it.

For more info on holiday window painting see: So, You Want To Paint Holiday Windows? on Squidoo

What other elements do you see in this Holiday design that may be adapted and used for window painting?


Traditional Holiday Art Designs And Fluorescent Tempera

Poinsettia Designs 2007 ~ Image: M Burgess

Create A Collection Of Holiday Art Designs!

When the Holiday season rolls up on us in full force, my fellow artists and the curious, do you have a collection of drawings or photos to pull design ideas from for window decorating? 

Create a sampler book using the traditional shapes and images from the holiday designs that are so dear to our hearts.

My standard design theme over the past few seasons has been poinsettias and candles. These evolve year after year into wonderful adaptations. I am an artist with styles that are cartoon-like to semi realistic. I haven’t been properly schooled in the art terms, but I paint what I paint. 
There are moments I have scheduled my paint box for an appointment and I am not sure what it is I will be painting. Thankfully I have my standard design images. Created long ago when I started learning how to do these art projects I sat down and did dozens of pencil sketches. The window will inspire me to pull in and arrange these delightful images. When the design comes around and I am ready to sketch in the elements, there is usually a nice giggle involved with it. Sometimes there is an inside joke. Mostly they are a testimony of how beautiful this time of year is.

Christmas Art- Poinsettia In Fluorescent

Holiday Window Designs 2012 ~ Image: M Burgess
My 2012  Christmas Poinsettias are shown here.
I chose fluorescent tempera paints  to create a vivid image with the flower petals of this poinsettia. The brush strokes add the touches I needed to give it shape and form. With this design there is no need to do anything more but outline it.
Fluorescent colors can add some very nice touches for highlighting and blending in images that are round in contour. Use them to outline, too.
Keeping in the tradition of the Holidays, try to stay as close to the basic colors as possible but be creative!
Happy Holidays!


For More See: So, You Want To Be A Holiday Window Painter?

What is your favorite holiday decoration design?

Quality Paint Brush Sets

Quality Paint Brush sets are a must have for any Holiday Window Artist.

Painting on glass requires a smooth flowing paint stroke. 

The better the quality the more reliable these needed tools will be and the longer you will have them.

Higher quality paintbrushes stand up to their work better and tend not to loose bristles. A cheap brush will leave hairs all over you work, so take the time to select a good set. The smoother the brush the more fluid your lines will be. A softer bristle is composed of sable or squirrel hair. If you do want a rougher stroke for texture and effect a common 2″ paint brush will do great. 
In the set you set above right, there are several different brushes. The ones I use most are the Liner brush , lettering quills, and the fan brush. You see the 2″ brushes are stained in the color I use them with. This is important. Dedicating a brush to certain color shades prevents paint from bleeding in and ruining a light color such as white or yellow. It also will keep your greens or reds from being muddied.
Take good care of these tools and they will last you for years. Read more….

Painting Windows For Holidays – Thanksgiving Theme

A Thanksgiving theme is fun! Though Christmas tends to be the big draw for window painting I enjoy paint for other holidays, too. 

You can incorporate a Fall theme into a window design using pumpkins, fall leaves, and Turkeys. 

The colors are bright and fun. Painting Thanksgiving themes on glass can be a lot of fun.

A Sketch of a Thanksgiving Turkey, Ms. Trixie —>

Use a fan brush to do feathers. They create a really neat texture as you will see in the close-up images in the following photos. 

(All Images: M Burgess)
This design has the owner’s pets names on images of turkeys playing in fall leaves. 

Thanksgiving Theme ~ Fall 2007:

The Turkeys Close-up:

 Fall Leaves:

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

The Christmas Window Paintbox Pallet Red White Blue and Green!

When putting together your paintbox pallet for the first time start with the basic Christmas colors red, white, and green.


The red, green, and white are obvious. These colors pretty much dominate Christmas designs. Blue can be used for shadows and in mixing other colors. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue but in specific tints needed it is better to get a premixed color when it comes to holiday scenes such as seen in Christmas.*


In these colors larger containers are necessary as you will use a them quite often. 

Poinsettias and Candles ~ Image: M Burgess

White is the base color I use on everything. It stands out well in distances and it makes great finishing details. I use it to outline areas that are red or green as these colors tend to fade into the decoration and not stand out on their own. With the design above, poinsettias and candles I drew out straight lines for the candles and took a 2″ paintbrush and ran it through the middle of them. Then I followed with the red petals and finished it off with the green leaves.
This is generally how I fill all of my paintings in. I later take white and a liner brush and add the final touches such as the outlines or sparkles.
You want your design to POP off the window. When you think about painting a glass surface consider what you want an onlooker to see from not only close up but further away. Painting the greeting for example if you are decorating a large storefront should be bright and attractive and clearly defined.


Space designs nicely apart so that they do not blend into one another and stand on their own
 There isn’t a need for a lot of detail. You can mimic a shape or highlight a character with a few quick strokes of paint.
Simple is good!
Keep it easy breezy and you will be painting like a pro in no time flat! =)

Painting Tips 101 – Art Brushes – Fan Brush

My best painting tip? Select quality art brushes!

Remember you are investing in a business.

If you select the right ones they will last years where the cheaper brushes will fall apart in your first season.

Cutting corners to save money on tools and supplies will cost you money in the long run. Cheaper quality brushes tend to leave brush hairs behind in your paintings.

Start your kit right and find good brushes to begin with.

Art brushes in different sizes, shapes, and textures can create the dimensions you need in a window painting. Picking out the right brush is key to the design your wish to create. 

One of my favorite brushes is a fan brush. I learned about these watching Bob Ross paint his happy little trees.

They are ideal for turkey feathers when painting Thanksgiving themes and they can be used to make clouds as well. They make great snow drifts and icicles, too! Another way you can use them is in creating a furry texture for painting animals.

Apply paint lightly with them using only the very tips of the brush. They will create interesting textured lines. Practice with these will bring out some fascinating images.

Keeping these brushes clean is simple. Rinse them every few minutes in clean water and dry gently on a towel or rag to keep the bristles straight and prevent paint from caking in them.

For more info stay tuned!
Read More about Holiday Window Painting:
So You Want To Paint Holiday Windows?