Glow (Paint Using Watercolors and Acrylics for a Fantasy-like atmosphere)

Janelle Nichol, Self taught artist

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14 Lessons (3h 9m)
    • 1. Intro to Artist and Glow course upload

    • 2. Materials Needed

    • 3. Layer 1 of background

    • 4. Layer 2 of background

    • 5. Layer 3 of background

    • 6. Layer 4 (The Confetti Layer)

    • 7. Sketching the fairy

    • 8. Transfering The Sketch

    • 9. Designing the Dress and Placing the Figure

    • 10. Adding the Overlay to the dress

    • 11. Painting the Hair and wings

    • 12. Shading the Figure

    • 13. Creating the Sequin Tree

    • 14. Final Thoughts and Accents


Project Description

Create a unique ethereal background with a whimsical fairy wall canvas artwork

                                              Introduction to Glow and Janelle

If there is a piece in my gallery at that you would like to see me offer a course for, send me a shout-out online (FB, Twitter, Instagram) & let me know what it isby using #JanelleNonline. In addition, you can post it in the discussion thread.

In the meantime, all you have to do is watch the videos in order and please do read the text that goes along with the lessons, it will give you additional info that may be of help.


                                                         Materials Overview

Canvas- A stretched canvas or canvas board will work great. I suggest sticking with standard sizes 8x10 or 11x14.

Mod Podge Matte- we will be using this to attach our background papers and to collage the figure together and for a mixed media painting technique.


  • Any kind of script paper or patterned paper that you like. This is the background of the canvas and most of it will not show through in the end, so even just old book paper will work fine.
  • Script/Book paper for the body and head.
  • Patterned tulle/mesh for the overlay on the dress. 
  • Pink cardstock, yellow cardstock. We will be creating more designs on this paper but that will be optional so if you see a pattern you like you can just use that.


  • Burnt Umber, burnt sienna, yellow ochre acrylic paint for the hair(or similar colors)
  • Cobalt Blue acrylic paint (or similar color)
  • Opaque yellow acrylic paint(I used Lemon Custard by Folk Art)
  • Light pink, Medium-Dark pink acrylic paint
  • Various green acrylic paint for floral headband and waistband
  • Lavender or Periwinkle colored acrylic paint
  • turquoise, green, pink, orange, yellow, purple, brown, blue watercolor paint. (I suggest the Artist Loft watercolor palette at Michaels. It's very inexpensive and you will get all the colors you need with it.) I also found THIS one on Amazon which looks very similar.

*Gold and iridescent glitter for the wings.


  • Dark brown, light brown, yellow and white wax pastels

*Some other tools I LOVE to use for shading are Faber Castell Gelatos and PITT artist Big Brush Pens. If you buy them, this piece needs Nougat (dark brown) in the markers and white and light flesh tone in the Gelatos.


Texture Tools

  • Bubble wrap
  • Drywall tape
  • Various stamps in script/foliage/flourish patterns
  • Stencils in script/flourish patterns (it is not necessary to have both stamps and stencils. Just nice to have the options). Links for a few are below.


Walnut StainGathered Twig and Salty Ocean Distress stains by Ranger. (Or similar colors)

*Optional items for your consideration

Lesson One-  Painting the Background

The background of this piece is a very whimsical, fantasy-like background. So instead of using typical, representational colors for foliage, I used pinks, purples and blues. I will show you how to create what I call a "confetti background". This helps to create an aatmosphere of sunlight streming through the trees and fairy dust and it helps to contribute to the ethereal, fantasy-like mood as well.

At this point, you can share your canvas in the project gallery and online after each background layer. I would love to see it! Use #JanelleNonline on Instagram and/or Twitter. Each share will get you an entry into a contest where you could win a fabulous prize!

Lesson Two - Creating and Sketching the Fairy

SInce I am sketching this fairy from a scene in my head and not from a model or photo, I only see the fairy as I begin to sketch her out. I start with a general scene in my head and as I go throughout the piece, the challenge is to get the details of that scene onto the canvas.

Since we are not painting the figure (except for the hair) it is a very different approach we will be taking to include the figure into our canvas. The word collaging may conjure up memories of childhood crafts with scissors and glue but in order for a professional looking final result we will need to take some special considerations. This is not your grandmothers collage!

Included in this lesson are downloads of the fairy sketch shown in the videos. There will be an 8x10 and an 11x14 download available.

If you have sketched your own figure, it is now time to share it with the rest of the world! Use #JanelleNonline on Instagram and/or Twitter. Each share in the project gallery and online will get you an entry into a contest where you will win a fabulous prize!

When you have finished painting the hair and shading the figure , it is once again time to share your beautiful canvas. You know the drill....#JanelleNonline. :)

Here is a link for those of you who may need help scanning/resizing and transferring your sketch. 

Lesson Three - Painting the Sequin Tree. Paint your tree, upload it and let us see it!

Lesson Four - Finishing Up

 If there is a course you would like me to offer, please let me know by going to my website, check out my gallery and then give me a shout-out on social media to tell me which one you would like!

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