Review of Janelle Nichol’s online mixed media class “Fashionista”

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This article was written by Anjuli Johnson

Mixed Media class, Fashionista

I wanted to give myself a big break before writing this review, because I find when I allow myself time, I hold on to the main parts I took away from the class, and forget the rest.  What did I really learn from Janelle Nichol?  Was it more than just a fun class? Is it something that I’ll continue to draw on as I keep creating?  Giving myself a month to write this has made me understand that yes, it was more than a fun class.  Her techniques and instruction have influenced my work and made me a better artist.  I go back to what I learned often and am so grateful I took this course.

mixed media art background with flourish stamping and calligraphy from mixed media class.

The main thing I took away from the Fashionista class was how she pushed us to keep going, keep working and see what happens, especially when working abstractly and with backgrounds.  I tend to add two layers at most, because I get so attached to the elements I’ve added and I want them all to show on my pieces.  I came into this workshop with the same attitude.  I began by saying “Ok, this is more than I usually do, but I have to follow the directions…” which progressed to “Dang, this is a lot and I’m kind of tired of working on this background.  Can’t we just stop now?”  to finally saying “Wow, I can’t believe how awesome this looks… I need to do this more often!”  I found that when I followed Janelle’s instructions to keep working, my backgrounds took on a depth that they’ve never had before, and that experience has carried over into the work I’ve done since, including some commissioned pieces.

mixed media class review, using layers of paint, stamping, text, calligraphy, and stencils.

I loved this workshop because it was detailed, encouraging, and Janelle was very knowledgeable; but I especially loved how it pushed me to do things I was uncomfortable with.  It’s a long class, but Janelle has split it up into several parts, so it’s easy to take breaks and come back if you need to.  She gives a full list of supplies and carefully explains what she’s doing and using, which makes it easy to follow exactly, or substitute other supplies in if you don’t have something or want to use something else.

hand written calligraphy as an added layer in the mixed media grunge background for Janelle Nichol’s mixed media class, “Fashionista”.

I would definitely recommend Janelle’s classes.  She’s an artist that I am proud to have learned from.

You can find Janelle’s Fashionista Class here on SkillShare

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Anjuli Johnson is a Mixed Media Artist from Raleigh, NC.  She began her art career as a scrapbooker, and it’s been an evolutionary process every since.  She loves all things mixed media- paper, glue, paint, canvas, pens, wire, gears… the list goes on and on.  She is constantly trying to push through her fears to discover and develop her talents, meet new people, and learn from and inspire those around her. Facebook.com/TheFarPavilion

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Disclosure: Access to this course was supplied by Janelle Nichols for the purpose of review. All opinions are that of the MixedMediaArt team. Some links on this page may be affiliate links and any purchases help to support the ongoing work by MixedMediaArt.
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Janelle Nichol’s Online Class: Glow-Paint Using Watercolors and Acrylics for a Fantasy-like atmosphere

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This article is written by Peg Rounds

All of the details have been added & the project is now finished

The “Glow” class by Janelle Nichol is perfect for the beginner who wants to learn how to do a mixed media canvas to the advanced person who would love to have some more creative ideas to use.  The class is an online class and is easy to sign up using the Skillshare website.  I found the site really easy to use and get around on to find the videos every time I signed into it.  The class is broken down into 14 videos which is helpful in going through it step by step and you are able to go back to a video and view it again if needed.  The only downside I found was at times the sound was really low and I would have to turn my speakers way up to hear.

Janelle does an awesome job walking you through the supplies you will need and what you can use if you don’t have the same things.  She has a dedicated video just on the supplies, but be sure to also look below the video for a print list as not everything is covered in the video.  There were a couple of things she used in later videos that weren’t mentioned in the supply video or on the list such as magenta paint and chunky glitter so if you can watch through the videos before starting that is very helpful to make sure you have everything.  I didn’t have the glitter and couldn’t get it so I substituted for a glitter I hand on hand.  I, also, could not find locally the same types of materials she suggested for the dress so I have a different type and color for mine.  By using the list and video she has created, you will find that you have many things on hand already and for those that you don’t, you will be able to readily get from your local craft stores.

One of the beginning steps is to create color and texture using Distress Stains and Mod Podge on the patterned paper.  It is fun to watch how these beginning steps help lay the foundation for the rest of the piece.  The heart in the corner of mine was not knowingly created and I found it after the piece had dried.  It was fun to see what happened with it as the layers were added.

Scripted Paper with Inked with Blue & Brown Distress Stain

After several more layers of paint and Mod Podge, you will really start seeing the canvas taking shape.  Again, Janelle does a wonderful job at showing you how to create the fairy to attach to the project.  If you don’t think you can draw a fairy, don’t worry she’s got it covered with the addition of printable pieces to help you create your own.  She, also, helps you with creating the wings which are really easy to do, too.

The fairy & her wings have been attached and the painting of the waistband and hairband are done

You will learn how to finish the fairy and then move on to how to paint the details such as her hair, the waistband and headband.  You will, also, find out how to add shading to her dress, skin and wings.

The trees have been painted and the another layer using sequins have been added to the piece

I found this to be an excellent class to take and the finished project is well worth the time and effort put into it. The videos are easy to follow and the items used are already on hand for most mixed media artists or are easily obtainable.   I would recommend it highly for everyone who enjoys creating mixed media pieces from the beginner to the advanced.

You can jump straight into Janelle’s Glow; Create a Mixed Media Fairy here

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Peg Rounds has been seriously creating many types of art since 2007.  Her focus has become mixed media, card making and jewelry making.  She is often found on social media sites Pegs Crafting Corner where she enjoys sharing all that she has created.

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Disclosure: Access to this course was supplied by Janelle Nichols for the purpose of review. All opinions are that of the MixedMediaArt team. Some links on this page may be affiliate links and any purchases help to support the ongoing work by MixedMediaArt. 

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Mixed Media Artist Janelle Nichol

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This article is written by Michelle G. Brown

When I first came across the work of Janelle Nichol work, somewhere on the Internet, I wanted to know more about her. I loved her pieces that I saw; they were delicate and feminine, and with a distinctive look that combines mixed media with fine art painting. I had a chance to catch up with Janelle via Skype so we could chat about her work.

Janelle lives in Alberta, Canada with her family, and I was delighted to discover that Janelle is actually a self-taught artist. While she has always been creative, and also has a previous career in music teaching, she has only been painting and collaging for about five years, and as what she considers “seriously” for three years. Her style includes collage and paints, and she just loves trying things, which fits perfectly under the “mixed media” genre.

mixed media painting by Janelle Nichol

With a focal point around women and children, Janelle’s style has been described as abstract folk art. Her work shows a strength and softness in the same piece. One of her favourite comments from an art show customer was that her work “celebrates women for who they are”!

Janelle’s go-to materials include the full range of mixed media materials, with gesso, paints, tissue paper, gelato’s, intense blocks, sprays, Distressed inks and stains all being part of her collection. Anything that adds texture also features; moulding paste, sequins, glass beads and all sorts of unexpected ephemera can be seen when looking closely at her pieces.

When I asked about Janelle’s mixed media process, she tells me she will often start with a sketch and a vision that includes the images and the mood, feelings and colours of the piece.

Then she creates the background, which can take on a life of it’s own but will stick to the colours and feel in her vision. This maintains the mood Janelle is trying to achieve with each piece. Tracing her sketch onto the mixed media background adds the focal point and Janelle then paints in her figure. Here we can see these steps as this piece “A Meditation” progresses:

mixed media background by Janelle NicholCreating a background

mixed media painting by Janelle NicholSketching in the main figure

mixed media painting by Janelle NicholPainting in the figure

mixed media painting by Janelle NicholDetail hidden in the finished piece

mixed media painting by Janelle NicholThe final piece “A Meditation

Once Janelle has finished a mixed media painting, she will take high quality photos which allows her to turn her paintings into cards and prints. Then Janelle changes to her “business” hat, where her images are added to her website. Janelle does all of the work herself and she likes the balance that being an artist and business women provides. While the paint is drying, Janelle promotes her work through her website and Facebook page, and prepares for the numerous shows she does.

There are a number of shows that Janelle regularly exhibits at and it gives her a chance to engage with the public, as well as meet other artists. The show customers love seeing her work in “real life” as all of the depth and texture always looks better to see a piece of art in person. The shows also give Janelle a chance to put her face to her work and helps the sales process. It has taken a few years to build up to the number of shows Janelle is currently doing.

Our discussion then turned to the future for Janelle. She is currently working on the 2014 Fall shows, along with a book that will include her work with inspiring quotes, “like a coffee table book”, which is currently planned for a Fall 2015 release. Janelle’s head is full of ideas for new mixed media paintings and calendars and so many projects and opportunities, including looking into teaching online classes, as well as a secret “new thing” that is in process but now quite ready to reveal to the world, just yet (she promises we will be amongst the first to know when it’s ready to go!)

Whatever Janelle turns her hands to next, we will certainly be following along.

You can see more of Janelle’s work on her website: JanelleNichol.com or her Facebook page.

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Janelle loves sharing her mixed media process and in this video you can watch her create at least four different backgrounds, with different sized canvases using a variety of mixed media techniques! I lost count of the number of media she uses: gelatos, sprays, inktense blocks, distress inks and stains, paints, tissue paper, markers, gesso, stencils – a that’s just for the backgrounds!!

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Michelle G. Brown is passionate about mixed media art and enjoys sharing her knowledge and techniques with you to allow you to express your own creativity. Michelle understands that many of us have an inner need to create. By learning a few basic techniques the amazing world of mixed media art is accessible to everyone!

Michelle lives with her husband and two boys in Melbourne, Australia. When she is not creating or on Facebook, she’s at karate training.

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