People have asked me many times over the past few years if I knew a way to make your own metallic alcohol inks or mixatives. I finally decided to see if I could figure out a decent substitute for these. There are many recipes and DIYs for regular alcohol inks. I have one made with Sharpies HERE, but there isn’t a lot for metallic alcohol inks. I don’t really know how Ranger or Jacquard makes theirs but as I said above, I did find something that can work in the place of them.
I do just want to mention that I currently have a Giveaway going on my channel (as I do every month) so make sure to go over there & find out the details for this months Giveaway. (Hint: it’s alcohol ink themed.)
These are pretty simple and easy to make and the materials needed are not expensive at all. After all, what is a DIY if it is not significantly cheaper than the item you are trying to copy? Am I right?
I do have a video over on my YouTube channel so make sure to go over & watch that but I also wanted to do a blog post because it’s nice to have it down on (paper) when you are trying to copy something.
I want to start by saying, PLEASE experiment with your own ratios. The paint you use might be a different consistency or you may prefer a different consistency than I do. I actually like a thicker/lumpier solution for certain effects and a thinner solution for other effects. The materials are pretty cheap, so you really can afford to experiment to see what you like best!
- -Artist Loft brand Old Gold Paint
- -White paint from Dollorama
- -Aqua Moire Pearl by Folk Art
- -Paradise Pink by Folk Art
- -Radiant Gold by Craftsmart
- -Silver Sterling by Folk Art
- -99% Isopropyl Alcohol (91% could also work)
- -My DIY blending solution (a few drops of Glycerin mixed with about 20-30 ml of Isopropyl Alcohol. Put that in a squeeze or dropper bottle or water brush.
I really like the gold lumpy flecks in there. It adds texture and the bright gold really stands out.
Now I wanted to do some comparisons. I first compared it to just using straight gold metallic paint right from the bottle, which is show on the left below. I also compared this to the mixatives or metallic alcohol inks made by Ranger or Jacquard.
As you can see, using the straight paint just doesn’t have the same effect at all. Using the Ranger or Jacquard brands are different as well. I thought I MIGHT get a barely passable substitute for the “real thing” but I am actually quite happy with my results and in some ways, I like my recipe better.
After this, I just started fooling around with various metallic paints and I also wanted to do an opaque white alcohol ink so I used very cheap Dollarstore paint for that one and I did not find too much difference between that one and the White mixative from Ranger called “Snow Cap”. Here it is mixed with Sunset Orange by Ranger. The one on the left is Snow Cap and the one on the right is my recipe made with white paint from Dollorama. I also added in some of the gold metallic that I mixed up from the recipe above. As you can see…..my recipe turned out AWESOME!!!
This swatch shown below is using my DIY gold metallic alcohol ink along with my DIY Sharpie alcohol ink.
This swatch is made using silver metallic paint. It also turned out really well but this paint wasn’t as “glittery” as the gold so it doesn’t sparkle as much. Still very cool though.
Now this one below is made with the Pink glitter metallic paint by Folk Art. It is so pretty and delicate looking!
And lastly, because I was having way too much fun, I tried another blue metallic paint and when I mixed it with Sunset Orange below, I got this delicious result! I just love that TEXTURE!! I CAN’T GET ENOUGH!!!!
I do have a few more tips for you over on the VIDEO I did, so make sure to check that out!
It’s me! Remember me- Janelle Nichol. I have been gone a LOOOOOOOOONG time. But I’m back & better than ever. OK- maybe not BETTER than ever. Maybe just the same as before, except more often. Enough with the jibber jabber, let’s get on with it.
So first off, I just want to say that my blog is now going to be an extension of my YouTube channel & my blog posts will be connected with my various YouTube videos. Right now, my blog has kind of a boring look to it so I will be working on that a little bit. Just to get it more exciting & interesting, not so much “here’s a couple of paragraphs for you to read” type blog. We need pictures people!!
Now, onto this specific post. I was working with my wonderful inks from Jane Davenport & making markers out of them….as one does. BTW- I do have a video on how to make markers HERE. As I was making the markers, I thought, “it sure would be nice to have some different colors & whatnot to go with these”. Then my second thought was, “ugh, that’s too much work and too much wasted ink”. THEN my 3rd & final thought was “but THE COLORS!!!” So here we are….125 more colors later! YAY!!!
A couple of helpful notes for those of you who want to start mixing up your own inks.
- Are these inks like watercolors? Yes & no. They will move a little bit if you get to them quickly, but once they begin to dry they are completely permanent. They are a dye-based ink but like I said, if you get to them quickly, they can behave like watercolor. See my video here on how I used a watercolor painting technique with these inks.
- In the specific colors I’ve mixed here, I have pretty much only used recipes with 2 colors. There is a few earthy green shades where I used 2 colors from the inks & then a mix of another color. So 4 different inks in all. It sounds complicated but I’ve made it pretty easy to figure out in the recipes below.
- What to DO with the inks once you’ve mixed them into ALLLLLL the fantastic colors? Well, you could just wash them away but that is SO MUCH wasted loveliness!! Instead, have some art journals, watercolor paper, mixed media paper, or whatever else you might want to color & do some wonderful washes with these test inks! I got well over 40 different ink washes/beginnings of paintings now!!! Anytime, I’m lacking in inspiration I can just go to one of these & fool around with them. It is a seriously a great way to start any painting or just something fun to inspire you! I added salt to some of the washes as a way to put some texture into them and I put saran wrap on a few of them as well. Check out my photos below! Try it for yourself, you will not be disappointed! After I used up the test ink in the wells, I wiped out those wells with baby wipes. Did I throw those baby wipes away? No- you KNOW I didn’t. I will use them to make flowers. (more on that later) Here are just a few of the awesome washes I made with the leftover ink from all the recipes I created.
- So once you have all of these lovely shades of inks, what do you DO with them? Well, I would suggest making a larger batch of your absolutely favorite colors & putting them into squeeze bottles, dropper bottles, markers (from Crayola marker maker), water brushes/mermaid markers. Other than that, you can just mix up a small recipe that will be just enough for a specific project.
Now to just explain a little bit about the recipes themselves. As I said, I used only 2 colors at a time. There is so many more color mixes I could have done! I didn’t even combine each ink. Some weren’t combined at all with each other. For example, I combined Frida with Fairy Floss, Lemon Sherbet & Hydrangea but I didn’t combine it with Fresh Air, Limeade, Hot Cocoa etc etc…..you get the picture. So there is still so many more combinations that you can all work with if you decide to add to this collection of colors.
The first page of swatches shows a recipe of 4 Lemon Sherbet + 1 Frida and there is a double asterisk (**) beside that recipe. That is because I used this combination in a recipe on page 4 for some earthy greens that I just wasn’t getting otherwise. I use a lot of green in my paintings so I really wanted something that wasn’t just another shade of lime green , turquoise green or a dark brown green. In order to make those you would just need to make up some of the first recipe & then use however many drops specified in the recipes on page 4. To indicate which recipes those are, I just put “4 Fresh Air + 1**” & so on. If it says 1** or 2**, that just means to use that number of drops of the recipe. Hopefully I haven’t confused you. I also explain this in the YouTube video as well, so definitely check that out for more clarification.
I have tried to make the shades shown here as accurate as possible to the actual shades made by the inks. The PDF files were a little darker & I found that when I took the photo with my phone, the colors were much more accurate, even though the white of the paper is darker. The PDF files are at the bottom of this page & as always, colors will differ with various computers, printers, etc. To print these images or the PDF’s, just right click on your mouse to “save image”, & then print them out.
Please let me know in the comments below how your inks turned out!!
If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen a couple of posts about this painting. I did this as a gift to my parents. My mom was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year and they have moved into an apartment…they were previously “snowbirds” traveling back & forth from Canada to Arizona. Anyway, I thought that it would be nice to paint this for them so they can put it up in their new place. The house and yard was a very special place for my family and we have many great memories growing up there.
The two people in the painting are my mom on the porch and my dad working in the flowerbed. I wanted the end result to be somewhat symbolic of what our family has been going through this last year with my mom and so I wanted the sky to be a little dramatic but I also wanted to it to be peaceful and serene. It is a crazy thing this cancer. Sometimes I feel so devastated that I wonder if I will ever be able to paint again nevermind get out of bed. The next time, I feel desperately like I MUST paint & I’m not even the one that has the cancer! Here is a quote from my dad that he just wrote today about all this cancer craziness
“…and He has done this to pour His grace more abundantly on us to have Him more alive in our souls. Yes, these are days of desperation, and deeper ones may well be on the horizon; but they are also days of our souls vibrant with God’s life within, in wonder and grace. “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed…. Preparing for us a weight of glory beyond all comparison…And even today, cancer, does not rank on the same scale as the riches of His grace poured out on us in this present room; for He keeps track of every single cancer cell before and after the upcoming MRI.”
The biggest challenge with this painting was probably getting it from a place of blocked-in shapes, looking very basic and unoriginal to a painting that had depth and personality. It is one thing to be able to know how to paint in shapes, various elements and colors, it is another thing entirely to be able to paint intuitively where you are putting yourself in the painting, and viewers can observe that. It is what takes a painting from “that’s nice, you know how to paint trees and birds and shapes” to “this looks like it was meaningful to the artist, there is definitely emotion and passion in this painting”. I believe it is easy enough to learn techniques such as shapes, perspective, shading but if you can’t paint intuitively and with feeling than it’s not exciting and the result is very boring to the viewer.
For me, this process involves really thinking through the piece and figuring out all the details such as angles, how to get the important elements into the frame of the canvas, mixing colors, mediums etc. to turning off my brain and just painting intuitively. What I mean by that is to trust that I have figured out the details and now I just paint by instinct and what feels right. Yes, that means I may have to make corrections but the outcome is so much preferable to a painting that features a subject that COULD be beautiful and SHOULD be beautiful but yet still has no life on the canvas. There is always that stage for me in all of my works & it is the most frustrating, stressful stage. At that point, I just keep going and all of a sudden it starts getting away from me and the “magic starts to happen”
So with this video, keep in mind, it is just the beginning stages of the painting. I would say it was just before the stage where I turn my brain off and start painting by instinct. You will notice some re-workings of elements, a complete angle change of the house (which it still bothers me that I didn’t start out at a 3/4 angle…I know better) & many layers of paint to achieve a transparency and a glow in the painting. I also used glazing mediums on almost every brush stroke and an airbrush towards the end. This is an acrylic painting with oil added at the end to bring out colors & a little more texture. Materials listed below. To see more detail photos check out the gallery below and click on each thumbnail to see a larger image.
- Acrylic Paints- Chroma Atelier Interactive
- Liquitex Glazing Medium
- Golden Airbrush Medium
- Holbein Water Miscible Oil Paints
- Winsor and Newton Water Miscible Oil Paints
- Various bristle and synthetic brushes
Oh, one more thing…all of the music in this video was created by moi! I won’t say I wrote it because it was Garageband and Mixcraft, but I will say that I mixed it, I designed and I created it. Hey! I can’t have art as my hobby because it’s my job, and reading isn’t a hobby because it’s basically the same as living & breathing sooooo I guess I will start creating my own music as a hobby. Regardless, I’m the type of person that if I’m not creating in some way, I would legit lose my mind. I imagine it can be hard to live with me at times….Whether it’s any good or not? Well- I’ll let you guys be the judge of that 🙂 This will be the first time anyone has heard any of it other than my daughters. (YIKES) The music titles:
- Elixir (intro clip)
Well after hours and hours and hours worth of work, I am finally ready to announce that I am now offering in-depth online courses of my mixed media pieces. Eventually I will do courses on all styles of my artwork but I thought I’d start with my mixed media pieces.
So many of you have been asking over the years for this and I’m so excited to finally get this done! Partly because it was more work than I ever imagined it would be.\
One would think, as I did, “what’s the big deal? You film yourself as you paint” WELL, let me tell you that could not be further from the truth. I went about 17 times to buy and then return lights, cameras, mics and all sorts of weird things I didn’t even know existed. I designed some sort of multi-angle stand to hang my camera from and various light stands before I started anything. At one point, I was pretty sure a selfie stick would solve all my problems (it didn’t). I spent about a week researching how to do all of this on a REALLY low budget. When I started filming, it was great but a new experience as I had to constantly keep my eye on my monitor to see what the shot looked like, instead of on my actual art. Then comes the editing. Actually….I can’t even talk about the editing. I’m still traumatized from it and I learned some things about myself. I say A LOT of unnecessary things and I say UMMM a lot. All in all, I’m pretty annoying and I don’t like the sound of my voice. But I did have lots of fun doing it and I’m not complaining. So I am really hoping that these courses that I have done will be really popular and I am looking forward to doing many more.
You will now be seeing an “Online Courses” tab in the main menu on my website. I will be uploading all of the links and intro videos to that page. There will also be an email notification sign up option. For those of you who sign up, I will be sending out promo codes and congests for my courses from time to time.
Currently, there are 3 premium courses available. I will explain registration below. You will be able to view them at any time and as many times as you like for as long as I keep them online. I have designed them so that you don’t have to already be an “artist” or have tons of art supplies on hand or spend lots of money for the materials. Mixed media is so interesting because it uses a lot of fun techniques which can sometimes mean a lot of materials so I give many affordable options for everyone and provide links as well.
My YouTube channel will also be a lot more active now as I plan to upload videos and intros to courses quite regularly on there. Each of my 3 premium courses (Fashionista, Little Birdie, Glow) will have a “trailer” on YouTube. The trailers are just music and no talking but you will see clips of the course. The “intro videos” are me explaining the course more thoroughly. These all run between 1-2 minutes so are quick & easy to view. I also want to encourage every one to check out my gallery and let me know what courses you would like to see me offer a class for.
Right now, I am offering these courses for $25 each. Why $25? Because I wanted to make sure that I still earn enough money, after paying for the sites to host my classes and materials, time etc. I also wanted to make it affordable for anyone to sign up. I’ve researched a lot of similar type classes and have found that they are charging over $200 for some of the courses. I feel $25 is more than fair, given that you will receive a minimum of 2 1/2 hours worth of instruction in every premium class. So please feel free to ask me any questions you may have (tweet, instagram, FB, email me) and I can give you more info if you like 🙂
I have all of my courses, on two different Online Class sites. The first one is
- $25 CAD per course
- Unlimited views at any time for as long as I keep the course online
- No monthly sign up, no commitments
- You can post and upload photos of progress and ask for advice throughout the course
- Includes links, and downloads of sketches of the figures
- This option appears more expensive but actually is not as it is only a one-time fee
Click here to register for Little Birdie on CourseCraft
Click here to register for Fashionista on CourseCraft
Click here to register for Glow on CourseCraft
- $9.95 USD monthly signup fee
- Unlimited views at any time for as many months as you pay the 9.95 fee
- Access to many more courses when you sign up (not just mine)
- You can post and upload photos of progress and ask for advice throughout the course
- Includes links and downloads of sketches of the figures
- This option appears cheaper but requires a monthly fee of 9.95 USD to have access for more than a month.
Click here to register for the Little Birdie course on SkillShare.
Click here to register for Fashionista on Skillshare
Click here to register for Glow on SkillShare
Yup. I’ve been gone for awhile. It’s been ages since I’ve done a blog post. I think the last time I posted was back when people were still discussing whether the dress was gold or blue. (It’s gold BTW). I don’t even know what to say so lets just list all my excuses here and get it all out in the open:
- It was winter. For like 8 months.
- I’ve been painting.
- 3 kids. 1 husband.
- I’ve been doing shows. (OK Christmas 2014 was my last one)
- My mom was diagnosed with brain cancer.
- I’ve been depressed. Because winter.
- Went to Disneyland
- Dealing with anxiety and obsessing issues. Turns out winter isn’t my main problem.
- But winter.
So about 2 of those are legit reasons for my irresponsibility. Especially since it’s been Summer for almost 3 months now. BUT I’M BACK NOW!!!!
Aaaaand I have a BIG announcement! I can’t tell you what that is yet BUT if you go back HERE to my FB Post & comment letting me know what you think my announcement is, you may just get discounted or free access to something! (that’s a hint right there). If you are one of those that still aren’t on FB, just comment here.
Look for the actual announcement later this week. I’m so excited about it!
Hello all, it is probably time for me to share what has been going on as I have not been very active lately. My mom was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and I had to suddenly leave for Phoenix to help with all of that & be with my parents. She has had surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible & is now awaiting treatment.
As you can imagine, life has been a little different for me and quite exhausting. So, in order to be able to support my parents as I would like, I have decided it is best to cancel all of my Spring Shows.
BUT I want to assure you all that I will still be painting (as it is quite therapeutic for me) & my work is all still available to purchase & I am still very much wanting to sell my artwork as it is my whole income. I do not have my online store open right now but you can still purchase by messaging me & I still take all forms of payment. Or if you are on Facebook, head on over to my page and check out the Online Studio Sale Event I have going on right now.
Please be patient as I will be posting various pieces from time to time to encourage sales because that is the only way I have to bring in income. I don’t like to push my artwork on people. I believe if someone loves my artwork they love it, & if they don’t like it, nothing I say will change their minds. So in keeping with that spirit, I will just be putting my work on this FB page & on my website (which is still running) in the hopes that you all enjoy it & if you feel so led, you can share it & comment as I still need support & encouragement in many forms.
One more thing- this was the piece that I finished just before I rushed onto a flight to Pheonix to spend a few minutes with my mom before she went in for surgery.
“Beauty is not in the face, Beauty is a Light in the Heart”
So I am slooowly putting together a book of my artwork and various quotes. Here is a sampling of one of the pages. A comment I hear often is how uplifting and inspiring my work is. Which thrills me to the bones because that’s exactly what I’m trying to do. Because happiness.
I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below. If you DO love this remember, “Sharing is Caring”. As in, I would love it if you would click that little “like” button down there and tell people you know, about me, Janelle Nichol and my artwork. Thanks so much!
If you would like to see more of my artwork just click on the Gallery.
Keep up with Janelle Nichol
Sign up for Janelle’s Blog HERE
soooo Pinterest- am I right?
Ok, so I’ve been on Pinterest
since it first came out for a little bit now and I’ve heard people talk about how it’s SOOO addicting. I was like, “really? I don’t see it.” I would just spend a little bit of time here & there pinning recipes that I just KNEW would revolutionize my life forever. I never made anything & I’m still a terrible cook. I’m not kidding- just last night, I burned pancakes & bacon & had to call my husband to come and help me, like I’m some 12 year old. But that’s for a future post. Safe to say, my life was not revolutionized.
I knew that as an artist, Pinterest was the Social Media website that was MADE for me. It’s all about the visual, & as an artist…well you get the idea. So this week, my daughters have been attending church day camp. I woke them up at 8:15 AM every morning this week. Correction: I woke up at 8:15 & then at 8:25 I actually moved. It’s Summer people- the only thing this week did was solidify my belief that I was not going to enjoy the first week of school. I know that isn’t that early at all but we are lazy in Summer. It’s just the way it is. Every morning I convinced myself that it wouldn’t be so bad- just get them up, drive them over there & go back to bed! Problem solved. Except that I’m 39 and also- who does that?! Not 40 year olds. A more appropriate solution would be to wait until naptime at 3:00.
So what did I do when I got back home with no kids running around? Well- I did laundry, cleaned the bedrooms & tackled some long overdue house cleaning projects I’ve been avoiding. No. I did none of that. What I did was organize my Pinterest boards so they are FABULOUS and SUPER PRETTY. Now THIS will revolutionize my life y’all!! I’m pretty sure it will anyway…
So with doing all of that, I have learned a few things about Pinterest. After acting like a freak for about 2 days on Pinterest, I decided to behave in a more rational manner. Here is what I learned. Keep in mind, these tips are from my own experiences with Pinterest, like the terrarium thing-a-ma-jig, (please don’t get offended if you are a legit terrarium maker) & I don’t know if these are good tips or bad tips or just plain weird tips, but here they are in random order.
– Just because one has a board that is all about the color green, does not mean all the green things you see on the internet should go on your green Pinterest board. A green marble, is just a green marble. You’ve seen one before, you will see one again.
– Be selective & be smart. Don’t turn into some insane person, rapidly pinning everything that catches your eye. That’s when you discover the “Like” button. As in, “I think I kind of like this but do I like it because I THINK I should like it or because I really do actually like it?” I don’t know, but for right now, it’s not worthy of one of my fantastic boards so it will just get a Like & if it’s lucky, I will be back one day. Probably not. But that’s it’s own fault for not being totally awesome enough to immediately pin
– Boards. So many boards. I don’t even have that many & I really can’t keep track of them all. I don’t as yet have any solution for this though. My biggest problem right now is if I should call one of my boards “Lovelies” or “In My Dreams” OR should I have BOTH of these boards?? & then how do I decide what goes into “Lovelies” or what goes into “In My Dreams” ??? These are actual thoughts I have in my head.
– These “How-to” pins. Now come on- are you really going to follow through on your plans to create a Terrarium? Do you even know what one is? No. You don’t & you’re not. Sure, it would be really cool to actually do it & brag to all of your friends but the fact is you just aren’t that girl sooo….move on. Besides, let’s get real- your friends don’t care about the stupid terrarium either.
– Finally, after typing the word Pinterest numerous times, you will start to find that it looks weird and you won’t even be sure if you are spelling it correctly. But whatever you do, please don’t pronouce it Pinetrest. That will ruin my day.
BTW- the images shown here are just a few of my many Pinterest boards.
Next post! (no it’s not) is tips for Instagram & how I obsess about taking pictures of clouds like I’m the only person on earth that has ever seen one so I better take a picture & put it out there so people can be all like “WOW- where does she live? She has CLOUDS??!!”
For those who are interested, you can follow me on Pinterest by clicking Here or you can click on the Pinterest Logo at the top right.
Keep up with Janelle Nichol
Hope you are all having a fantastic Summer so far! Just wanted to share another piece with you. This one is titled “Interlude”. I wanted to do a Spanish dance pe dress with a vibrant beautiful woman.
One of my favorite things about these pieces are the dreamy, abstract, slightly impressionist backgrounds. I love working on the backgrounds and discovering what colors come out. Then I just need to decide what colors to focus on and what to fade out.
I have sold the original of this but it is available as a Limited Edition Print and Giclee Canvas. Both come with a Certificate of Authenticity and they are available to purchase in my Store. Until July 13th, you can purchase this piece at a Promotional Price.
Original 20×28 Painting $3200.00
Limited Edition Print starting at $135.00
Limited Edition Giclee Canvas starting at $350.00 (no need for a frame)
Here are some detail shots. Click on each one to see a larger, clearer image.
Keep up with Janelle Nichol
Thank you everybody for the great response to my collection of watercolors! I now have another new series to introduce to you. This is my Fine Art Acrylic series.
It’s a collection of “moments”. We all have these moments. Moments when we are relaxed, moments when we are exhilerated, contemplative, melancholy, reflective. The list goes on. I did this series in order to bring out the loveliness and sweetness of all of those moments that seem to be so normal and regular at the time.
Here are some progress pictures of the first piece of the series I did. This is “A Meditation.” For the next six weeks I will be featuring a piece from this new series with a blog post. There are 6 pieces in this series with more to come. They are all available to view in my gallery and purchase in my store. The originals range in price from $3200-$3500. I am thrilled to say I have already sold one Original titled “Interlude”
They are also available as Limited Edition Prints and Giclee Canvases. Since I’m featuring “A Meditation” this week- it is available for a special introductory price this week only with $40 off the Limited Edition print and $50 off the Limited Edition Giclee Canvas. You will receive a Certificate of Authenticity with all my Limited Edition prints.
Here is the sketch.
Here’s my work started on the background.
Next, I had to transfer this lovely woman to the canvas.
And here is where I have started painting her dress. One of my favorite stages…
And here is the final result!
Keep up with Janelle Nichol