Winter Scene Painting On A Window Frame

Are you looking to try something new? Here is a fun acrylic painting project just for you, but we are going to try it on a new painting surface this time. We are going to be painting on a window!

I found these plexiglass window frames to paint on a few years ago and snatched up as many as I could. The tips and products I will share with you today will work on most similar surfaces and even glass!

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Acrylic painting Winter Chapel on a Window Frame The Social Easel copy

Even though these frames aren’t available anymore, I have found a few that are similar here and here. You could also find an old picture frame at a thrift shop or in your home, pop out the back, make sure the glass panel is secure, and use that! 

When I first came across these frames, I thought my cute reindeer painting would be so adorable with its hooves and nose pressed up against the glass like it was looking in. But ultimately, I decided to paint a winter scene and chapel with stained glass windows. I will be able to hang it in my home all winter long!

Materials Mentioned

There were a lot of elements I wanted to add—snowy evergreen trees, a chapel with colorful stained glass windows, and of course, metallics and lots of texture. All of these things together can take a little bit of thought when painting on a window.

When painting glass or plexiglass like this, traditionally, you do what is called “reverse painting” and paint the whole image on the back of the panel reversing your steps. I will not solely be reverse painting in this lesson, though. To create a more 3D look, I decided to paint on the back and the front of the glass and then added SnowTex for extra texture. 

I had already begun hand painting on the window frame and thought I would show you Live on Facebook how I finished things up.

How to Paint Evergreen Trees on Glass

When you watch the video below, you will see I had already painted a few trees before adding the chapel structure. But I wanted a few peeking from behind and shared with you how I painted those evergreen trees. 

To paint an evergreen tree, I like to use a fan brush. I start with a straight vertical line down where I want the center of the tree to be on the backside of the plexiglass. This line is the tree trunk and my guideline for painting the rest of the tree.

Back side of the window Painting a Winter Chapel on a Window Frame

Then, with a loaded brush, bounce from side to side horizontally, creating a broad base and slowly tapering as you work your way up. Turn your brush and use the corner to make narrower marks as you get near the top. 

Remember, you want those branches to be kind of staggered on the ends, not forming a perfect triangle. 

Flip your painting surface around to see how it looks as you paint. I needed to break up the color just a little bit and decided to add some darker tones as shadows, so I flipped the plexiglass window frame back around and added those in.

See an up-close video of how I paint evergreen trees and other things using a fan brush in THIS blog.

The back side of the window. Painting a Winter Scene on a Plexiglass Window Framed The Social Easel copy

After you have the shape and layers of color how you like, it’s time to add some snow to the front of the plexiglass. I used a flat brush and white paint to dab along, staggered across the tree. 

Snowy Evergreen Trees Painting a Winter Chapel on a Window Frame

Learn how to add dimension to your trees in my blog, all about painting shadows and highlights.

The snow would be the first step if you were fully reverse painting these evergreen trees on glass.

How to Paint a Chapel on Glass

To paint the chapel, I used a flat brush and black to paint the basic shape on the back of the plexiglass. I like having the dark backing to act as shadows and give a bit of a rustic look. 

SnowTex Painting a Winter Chapel on a Window Frame

Then, I used white paint on the front of the plexiglass to paint the siding of the chapel, leaving the arched doorway and roofing black and notched out where I would like the stained glass windows to be. If you want, this is a good time to add a thin outline around the chapel in black.

Let your paint dry and do a second coat if you want more opaque colors.

Paint the Stained Glass

You know I love metallic paints, I love shimmer and gold… all that stuff. I put something shimmery to catch the eye in just about everything I do. That goes for my artwork to my home decor. Why not add some shine with stained glass windows on this winter chapel?!

I began with gold and just made a bunch of messy little blobs here on the front side of the windows. Then, repeat with red, green, and blue metallic paint.

Painting on Glass Stained Glass Window The Social Easel

You want to see the gold and all the other colors shining through, don’t overlap them too much. Just little blobs of color here and there.

Don’t overthink where you place your little blobs of paint, or it will look too organized. You want to work kind of quick and have it be all random.

Simple stained glass window painted on glass window framed

Go around the edges of the stained glass with a black outline to make them stand out. This is also a good time to run a few streaks of black or gray through the chapel. You could make them look like planks of wood or bricks, but mine is abstract and messy. Messy is good. 🙂

Painting Snow

To really kick up the texture of this soon-to-be snowy winter chapel painting, you can add SnowTex. I love this lofty white texture to scrape on wherever snow may pile up. I love this stuff and have used it in so many winter projects. If you like getting messy, this is fun.

You can see me using SnowTex in this Red Truck Tutorial.

I love how 3-dimensional placing the layers of paint on the back and front of the plexiglass looks. And that SnowTex is a fun little addition to the painting.

To make it a snowy winter day, I wanted to add spatters of snowfall. 

Painting on a Window Snowy Evergreen trees painted on glass The Social Ease

All you have to do is thin your paint with a bit of water and flick the brush’s bristles or tap the handle over the painting. You don’t want to make your paint too watery, or you might get too large of blobs of paint. 

White splatter gets everywhere, but that is the fun part of creating—getting messy!

Painting on a Window Snow Spatter Painting a Winter Chapel on a Window Frame

I applied the snow to the back of the plexiglass first and then decided to add a bit more on the front, so there was snow falling on the trees and winter chapel.

Watch Christie’s Video Tutorial Painting on a Window Frame

Check out my step-by-step lesson on how to paint a winter chapel here!

I have been thinking of painting on some old glass-filled frames I have, what do you think? Let me know what you would like to see me paint.

Visit my FB painting community and share what you create!

Painting on a window The Social Easel