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Come and paint pretty cottage windows!

I’m not sure why, but I have always found windows and doorways fascinating subjects and I will often stop to photograph one if I’m out about. As with many of my favourite subjects, the doors and windows need to have a bit of character about them so quite often they will be in older buildings.

The two windows I have selected have different charms. The green framed window has muted colours which create a vintage, country vibe, whilst the blue framed window appears more vibrant and has a rather coastal vibe. Both however have sash windows, lacy net curtains and have a rustic appearance with their matching rough rendered, whitewashed exteriors.

When looking to create a pair of paintings it’s a good idea to select images that compliment each other. Make sure they share some similarities as this will create a narrative or overarching theme. Imagine if you were to select an ultra modern window and pair it with a rustic window, the effect would be less harmonious and create a more dynamic feel.

The techniques for both paintings are very similar. Using the same style and approach is another important aspect to consider when painting a pair. For most of the two paintings you will work onto dry, layering colour from light to dark for each object.

When it comes to the flowers you can choose to personalise your painting and add your own planting/colour scheme - just select your favourite flowers and replace what’s there. If you’re going to do this, it’s wise to look at existing planters for inspiration. This will help you to select plants which are actually in season together and help you to achieve the correct scale for each plant so you don’t end up with something totally unrealistic!

For my painting of the green-framed window I decided to brighten up the recess as it is quite heavily shadowed in the photograph ~ this again helps the two paintings to sit better as a pair. Considering these small changes can make all the difference to creating a successful pairing.

The most intricate part of each painting is, without doubt, the lacy curtains, but I promise you it is worth taking your time over these as they add to the depth and realism of the finished painting! To tackle them we will use a small brush and actually paint the negative (darker) space between the lacework (where the curtain is more sheer). Looking closely at how the curtains alter in value from one fold to another will also create a more believable finish ~ but don't worry the patterns don't have to be super accurate!

To complete your windows I will show you how to achieve the texture of the rustic, rough render using the dry brush technique. This technique works best with Rough or Cold Pressed papers as the surface has an uneven surface and will allow your brush to skim across it.

If you use the same colour for both paintings it will again help to harmonise them as a pair.

To find out more about this tutorial take a look at the short video below.

Depending on how much time you have, feel free to just choose your favourite window and create one painting or go ahead and paint the pair as I have! If you love the idea of painting windows as much as I do, remember you can always add another window of your own choice - just make sure you consider the tips I've given you here so that the one you select works harmoniously with the others!

Happy painting!

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