How To... Make a Watercolor Window Display August 01 2013

Every few months I switch out the window display here at Red Sail. It’s a fun challenge to come up with new and eye catching designs that will stop folks in their tracks… to create something interesting and enticing that will pull them into the shop. Customers often ask how I come up with the displays, or how I made them, so I figured I’d start a running journal entry sharing just how they all come together.

Watercolor Window

I had a block of watercolor paper that I had been dragging around since college (I was a fine arts major more than a decade ago!), and I really wanted to use up supplies I already had so I decided that’s where I was going to start.

1. Leave the watercolor paper attached to the block (it helps keep the sheet flat as it dries).
2. Use artist tape to criss cross the paper (this will create the white lines on the final piece).
3. Brush a light coating of water over the whole paper.
4. Choose two colors to work with. Load your paint brushes and apply your watercolors in towards each other so that they blend together.
5. While the paper is still damp, wet your fingers and flick some water onto the paper to create the starburst pattern.

6. When the paper dries completely, gently peel off the tape, remove the paper from the block, then repeat, repeat, repeat! In my case, I repeated that process 54 times to come up with 27 double-sided paintings.
7. I did two colorways, pink/orange and navy/aqua, and they are glued back to back so that the display is reversed outside and in.
8. I then laid out the prints, and attached them using large paperclips, which is also how I hung them in our window.
9. It will take some tweaking, but you’ll get them aligned... eventually!