Ever since I moved into my space at the back of 307 S. James St. I’ve been meaning to put something in the window that overlooks the office where I work. The truth is I like to take naps in there every once in a while and it makes me feel a little too exposed to lay on the floor on a yoga mat and know that anyone walking by the window can see me snoring in there. I could have just hung up a curtain but why settle for fabric when I can make something awesome instead? So naturally I decided to make some skeleton window art.
It took a little longer than I hoped and this was because I had to order more leading strips and paint colors directly from the manufacturer (Plaid Gallery Glass) and their cheapest shipping option turns out to be very slooooooooow. But oh well. I was busy doing other things, if you recall. It got delivered eventually and then the whole project was finished up quickly after that.
Step 1: Make a sketch
First I needed a design for the window. I settled on the classic Uncle Sam army recruiting poster as a starting point. Not hard to convert to a skeleton version. If anyone is interested in doing the same thing for themselves, just let me know and I’ll send you a scalable pdf file that you can use as a template.
Step 2: Convert to scalable vector art
Once I printed out the template I taped it up to the back side of the window and then started putting leading strips on the front side of the window, cementing them in place with a drop of liquid leading.
Step 3: Do the fiddly bits
I made the skull, hand, stars and lettering separately on clear plastic sleeves using the liquid leading. That’s because they were too detailed to do using the leading strips on a vertical surface. You can bend the strips into large, simple shapes but anything smaller and they don’t hold the curves. They peel off the glass when my back is turned and it’s frustrating as hell.
Step 4: Decide on a background
The next question was what to do with the background? It needed to cover the whole window, but the original Uncle Sam poster was just plain white. I wanted something kind of gothic. So I ended up using radiating stripes in purple and lilac.
Step 5: Break up the big shapes
Step 6: Fill in the rest of the color
Step 7: Enjoy my cool window art!
So this is it! This is my Uncle Skelly Wants You for the Skeleton Army window. What do you think? Pretty cool? I think so, too. And best of all, I can nap in peace!