Window Painting at Pieminister, Sheffield

At the end of February I was approached by Pieminister to paint the windows of their Sheffield branch. This was for their March Pie Week campaign. There was a lot about this to get excited about. Firstly, I really really REALLY wanted to try window painting. I put some feelers out just before Halloween 2019. Hopeful I could try it, I made some mock ups. I didn’t get any commissions that Halloween though but I wasn’t deterred.

Secondly, Pieminister found me. This is always a great boost. It means that I am doing something right to get noticed. It’s not uncommon to get lots of unsolicited approaches that are unfavourable termed (read: unpaid and exploitative) so to be approached by a client with a great national profile for a paid gig is always good.

Hang on, did you say Pie Week?

I did indeed! The project was part of their national Pie Week where customers got the chance to win prizes with their orders. As part of their promotional strategy for this they commissioned artists local to their branch locations to create temporary window paintings.

The Process

Firstly I had to ensure that my design captured what they were after. This included using the correct fonts and colours of their Pie Week campaign. After approval I went about sourcing some Posca Pens in the right shades. I cannot recommend Posca’s enough. I haven’t found an imitation brand that comes anywhere close to the quality and performance of these pens. They are pretty pricey but they are worth every penny.

Half of the skill in translating a design onto a large canvas is in scaling it up. There are a variety of ways in which artists do this, but personally I rely on using masking tape to mark crucial points of the design on the painting surface, which I can stand back from and eye up the balance of the piece and adjust these points if necessary. This is by no means a method that will suit everyone’s style but it works for me. It also works on glass which rules out the option of sketching on the surface first. 

Check, check and check again

I find it really important whilst window painting to go outside the window regularly and look at the piece. Remember, not only are you scaling your work up, you are painting it backwards on the inside of the window for the benefit of viewers outside. This is especially taxing when writing text. By constantly reviewing your design from the viewers stand point you are able to remedy anything you aren’t happy with throughout. 

Please sir, can I have some more?

I absolutely loved completing this commission. I stood alongside talented artists completing their own pieces on other restaurant windows across the country. I look forward to completing more window paintings in future. If you have a business or know of one that you think could benefit from some temporary window art, drop me a message on my online form and let’s chat! 

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