"Getting Started" is all about getting you started with a wide variety of mixed media techniques and supplies. I have chosen a collection of my most-used supplies and techniques to share with you. These are the tips, tricks, and materials that I use virtually every day in the studio!

Each mini class is hosted on a private password-protected blog and your classroom access never expires.

As the moniker "Getting Started" indicates, these lessons are intended to cover the basics of each topic for those with little to no experience with the topic.  Lessons are always a mixture of technical information (why this glue, why the paint works like that, etc.) mixed with my own personal taste and tips on how/why I use certain products and/or techniques.

Here's how it works:

  • On the first of each month in 2013, one new mini class will be released. You may purchase any class at any time.
  • All lessons are delivered via password-protected video on a private password-protected blog.
  • Each mini class contains 3-5 videos on the given topic. If you've taken my classes before you know that I pack each and every video with loads of information and plenty of "doing" and examples rather than just talking at you.
  • Each class contains a resource guide with links for continued learning and inspiration.
  • You can purchase individual classes for just $15/each.
  • Within 48-hours of registering for class, you will receive an e-mail confirmation at the e-mail address you provided to PayPal. This will be the e-mail address that will be used for all class communication.
  Here are the twelve topics for 2013:
  1. Getting Started With Color Mixing
  2. Getting Started With the Gelli Plate
  3. Getting Started With Gesso
  4. Getting Started With Deli Paper
  5. Getting Started With Lettering
  6. Getting Started With Watercolor
  7. Getting Started With Resists
  8. Getting Started With Transfers
  9. Getting Started With the Design Principles
  10. Getting Started With Neocolor II
  11. Getting Started With Spray Ink
  12. Getting Started With Collage

More information about each class can be found below. Please note that images are pulled from my own work and those particular projects may not appear in class.


Buy a pass for all twelve classes for just $165 (savings of $15 or one free class).

Getting Started with Color Mixing
Classroom is OPEN -- buy any time, never lose access

This is a great foundation course for people interested in learning how to mix their own paint colors. This course covers mixing secondary and tertiary colors, creating neutrals, tinting, toning, and shading. You'll be blown away by how much you can do with just yellow, blue, red, black, and white paint.

Read more in-depth information about the class here and watch a short promo video below:

a sampling of STUDENT COMMENTS...
"Hey there Julie....I loved all of the videos! They were easy to understand and simple to follow!" -- Debbie
"Loved this class. I feel like I totally get it now. I've read books galore and somehow never quite understood the point of a color wheel. I used to think -- of course red and green are opposites on the color wheel, I don't need a visual to show me that. Now I know... red is not red is not red ;) I especially loved how you showed the different mediums - and now when I start with any new medium I know I can start with basic colors for my first purchase." -- Lela
"Happy New Year Julie! I just wanted to tell you one thing...I wish you could be my teacher on all subjects I want to learn. You are so fabulous! You have such a gift for taking a subject, breaking it down, explaining it clearly and making it fun in the process. Thanks for sharing your great gift of teaching. I love this class!" -- Becky
"I took a class for color and it took three hours to explain what you explained in 10 minutes. Thank you!!!!!!" -- Annette
"Holey, moley I think that is the best and least expensive online class I have ever taken. Thanks Julie, my bajillions of dollars of products just got even more valuable!" -- Kathryn
Getting Started with the Gelli Plate
Classroom is OPEN -- buy any time, never lose access

The Gelli Plate by Gelli Arts is a wonderful tool for making all kinds of layered prints. Whether you already have a plate and aren't quite sure what to do with it, or are on the fence about whether or not this is a good buy, this class will teach you all you need to know to get started. We'll explore a variety of different monoprinting techniques using the Gelli Plate.

To read more about the class, click here. Watch a short promo video here:

a sampling of STUDENT COMMENTS...
"I said a lot in a previous comment but as always, your online classes are a great value. You really teach a lot of techniques, ideas, and just stuff in all of your videos....I have had my gelli plate for nearly two years....It took you and your videos to get me to open it up. Thanks, I had an absolute blast. Can't wait to play again tomorrow." -- Laurie
"I LOVED this class. I've already made about 30 gelli prints just using the first couple of videos...can't wait to wake up tomorrow (or later today I guess) and make more....So excited you did this Getting Started series Julie. I can't believe how much fun I'm having." -- Kara
"Thanks for this class, Julie. As usual, your videos are entertaining and informative and to the point, which I appreciate, having seen too many in which the instructors take an hour to present 15 minutes of material!" -- Sandra
"Julie, this course was so great and informative. Thanks! I've had my gelli plate for more than several months and have used it a lot. But now I know a lot more techniques, thanks to your course. I learned a lot from your teaching and demonstrations. Plus I get a huge kick out of your singing and theatrics!" -- Deborah
"Holy Helicopters - You are so freakin creative. I am super excited to try the faces!! I am ordering another gelli plate so I can cut it up. So glad I took this class - cannot wait til October for the deli paper class!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" -- Lisa
"Wow! This getting started class for gelli plate has been awesome. Thank you so very much for doing this class. I'm ordering mine today! I love your enthusiastic teaching style. The prep you put into these classes is evident. There is no 'fluff' or 'filler' in the classes - it's all useful! I like to see how you think about the art you create. Even though my style is not the same as your's, that's ok. I learn from how you think, and how to see things differently. Also appreciate how you encourage me to try new things - reminding me that experiments and mistakes are just fine. Art is just like life, in many ways. I cannot believe this was only $15!" -- Dawn
"Great Class! I have done some gelli plate printing in the past but your techniques open the door for exploration! Love your laid back teaching style and nice amount of info for the price. AND this has opened my eyes to doing some fabric printing. My favorite fabrics are batiks but I never wanted to mess with the 'dye process' to make my own. This way I can have my own hand painted fabrics to use in my mixed media art. Thank you Julie!!" -- Melissa
Getting Started with Gesso
Classroom is OPEN -- buy any time, never lose access

Gesso is an incredibly versatile paint medium. It is both useful and fun. This class covers the various types of gesso (white, black, clear, spray) and what to do with each of them, along with a host of super fun gesso techniques (like you see in the photo to the left). I think you'll be surprised by just how much gesso can do!

To read more about the class, click here. Watch a short promo video here:

a sampling of STUDENT COMMENTS...
"I have learned so much from this class, thank you! No more standing in Hobby Lobby staring at the shelf feeling mystified & leaving without buying anything." -- SparrowApril
"Julie--I cannot tell you how much I learned from this class and how much it meant to be able to watch the lessons in my own time. Thank you so much for bringing this teaching format to me. I feel like I had one on one time with you." -- Margaret
"Awesome! I stopped watching at one point to go gesso some pages...I can hardly wait to try more of the techniques from your videos, but I have to go to sleep so I can work tomorrow! Dangit!" -- Nancy
"Julie, I just want to thank you for your online classrooms. I so look forward to them and learn so many interesting and fun ideas. I love to take my time watching and know that if I feel I have missed something I can always go back to the videos and pick up what I might have missed. I also like the fact that you take your time to explain in detail as you work. I have learned so much from your classroom videos." -- Janet
"WoW! So much awesome info. I was not sure when to use which kind of gesso and this really helped. I love that you had a journal ready and shared why you would use a certain gesso. I need to go shopping for gesso." -- Dionne

Getting Started with Deli Paper
Classroom is OPEN -- buy any time, never lose access

Deli Paper is a wonderful and unique paper.  It's translucent and very very thin as well as super strong.  It's also very cheap!  I use it all the time because it's just so versatile. In this class I'll share my favorite ways to make Deli Paper work for you!

If you're looking for where to buy deli paper, I purchase mine online from Amazon.

To read more about the class, click here. Watch a short promo video here:

a sampling of STUDENT COMMENTS...
"Happy April Fools Day Julie, This months lesson was no Fools Day Trick...is was as you might say 'super awesome'! I am so pleased with the continued information and inspiration you offer with these classes, I look forward to the first of each month with great excitement....and what a value! Thank you so much! I love the ideas you keep coming up with. Thank you too for the walk through your journal it's almost a spiritual experience, because it's personal and gives us insite into your soul, your art and you." -- Donalee
"Julie...loved the class and learned so much about how deli paper can be used. My order from Amazon is on its way, too! I love this mini-class format that you have been utilizing this year....it's a great value and you always pack so much into each class. Thank you!!!" -- Mary
"Dear Julie, Wonderful class. I am so new to Art Journaling, I have been collecting journals, and tons of stuff for over a year, and haven't touched it. Didn't know where to go, which is very unlike me. Have loved your blog and videos. I've learned so much. Your style of teaching has really helped me. There are no mistakes!! I needed to hear that. Thanks from the bottom of my heart. Already ordered the deli paper from Amazon. Can't wait" -- Cathe
"Thanks Julie! I so enjoy your lessons. I always learn something no matter how much I think I might know about a subject. So glad that I didn't hesitate and bought the whole year. Umm, we are a quarter of the year down. Is it too early to ask what your monthly line-up for next year is? You know, I am sure I am not alone in enjoying my first day of the month Julie-gram!" -- Laurie
"Bravo Julie! I had no idea what could be done with deli paper! Now, I can't wait for my order to get here so I can try out all your terrific ideas. Thanks for such an informative class with great videos and photos!" -- Barb
Getting Started with Lettering
Classroom is OPEN -- buy any time, never lose access

There are six videos in this power packed mini class.  I will show you the super simple ways to take your handwriting and make it totally awesome!  

Watch this video for all the details about the class:

You will love how quick & easy it is to create fancy letters, add super cool shadows, and create letters full of pattern and color!

Read more about the class here.

a sampling of STUDENT COMMENTS...
"Hi, Julie. I've been following your blog for over a year and have waited so long to take a class. It was worth the wait. I thoroughly enjoy your teaching style and am having a great time experimenting with the ideas you showed and some of my own. For some reason it seemed like great lettering is something a person was just born with - an innate talent like being a great artist. Thanks for showing me that I'm wrong and that old dogs CAN learn new tricks." -- Kristine
"I have to admit, when I first saw the lettering topic, I was not that inspired. But after watching the videos and working along with you, I loved every one. It is so much fun to do, and looks great. I can tell my doodling during meetings will reach a whole new level!" -- Barb
"Julie, thank you for offering these "Getting Started" lessons and making them so much fun and affordable. Just the right combination to provide inspiration and motivation." -- Christie

"Hi Julie, I am loving this whole series of classes. You are a fantastic instructor! This class on lettering has been ... exhilarating? Inspirational? Hmm, sounds perhaps ridiculous to use such adjectives, but I have never understood lettering before...in fact I have always shied away from it because I didn't "see" it, and I felt like an idiot. Plus, I truly have poor penmanship, and my doodles never looked right. Now I know why and will go forward with confidence. Thanks so much for the clear instructions, the basics all the way through the fancy, and just generally being awesome. " -- Sara

"What a lovely way to spend an afternoon - I just finished the pattern and color exercise - thank you so much for these Getting Started classes. I am a nature printer and this is far from what I do but I am confident that it will find a way into my artwork. I especially like that perfection is not part of your vocabulary. Not part of mine either." -- JoAnn
"I've taken several of your classes and I definitely feel like you are talking to me - like you videotaped the class while I was right across the table from you. love your teaching style and classes!" -- Lisa
Getting Started with Watercolor
Classroom is OPEN -- buy any time, never lose access

In class we will be working with liquid watercolors, pan watercolors, tube watercolors, and Peerless watercolors. There are SIX video lessons covering basic techniques, texture techniques, stamping with watercolor, and lots more --including making your own watercolor sprays, and I'll take you step-by-step through putting together a small art journal page!

Watch the video for more information about the class:

a sampling of STUDENT COMMENTS...
"Hi Julie, Have just watched video 2. I've never ever painted before and am finding this simply fabulous! I own watercolors...pan and tube and cannot wait to start playing. This beginner class is just perfect for me! Thank you!" -- Judith
"WOW Julie! This was the BEST 30 minutes I have spent in my art room in weeks. I loved following your steps and I am so pleased with the results. " -- Marci
"You are amazing Julie, love your humor, love your teaching ... came away with quite a few new techniques ... with have a little think, a lot of play, and will definitely come back to watch again!!!" -- Eleni

"Fun class. I never realized that watercolors layer so easily. I also loved the texture techniques. I have some old tube watercolors from about 10 years ago. I am going to pull them out today to play. And, I like big brushes and I cannot lie? Hilarious! Now that is playing over and over in my head in a scary way... :) I will never think of my brushes in the same way again!" --Dawn

"Loved, loved, loved this class! Mahalo for putting it together and offering it at such an affordable price! You really inspire me!" -- Kawehe
Getting Started with Resists
Classroom is OPEN -- buy any time, never lose access

What is a resist? According to the dictionary: "A resistant substance applied as a coating to protect a surface during some process, for example to prevent dye or glaze adhering." Resists are one of my favorite ways to create interesting layers and preserve certain colors. In this class I share my most used methods and mediums for creating (and revealing) resists.

Read more about the class here or watch the video to learn more:

a sampling of STUDENT COMMENTS...
"What a fun and informative series. You present so well because you are yourself and just go with it. So many ideas are now flooding my brain! I would love to take a class in person from you some time. Thank you so much" -- Ruby
"Hi Julie....what a treat to myself on a Friday...watching all of the resist clips. I am never board listening to you. I loved watching all the way to use resists and especially loved how you use your supplies and the many layers in the last. One. What fun! The Fosse music snippets were fun as well...makes me want to listen to the Fosse album. I am so thrilled that I signed on for the resist class. I cannot wait to experiment this weekend. Thanks so much!" -- Julie
"Thank you for the well taught and inspiring Resists Workshop. Enjoyed everything about it, instructions, music and your great personality!" -- Nina
"Enjoyed this! I have forgotten so much of what I learned years ago so this really brought it all back. This gives me a new way to use gesso. I want to go play now. The last tag is soooo cool and was tons-o-fun to watch you do that one. Thanks so much Julie." -- Bonnie
"Loved Getting Started with Resist - each technique offers different possibilities. Especially loved the tag at the end where you put everything together - you are a fabulous teacher. Thank you for the class." -- JoAnn
Getting Started with Transfers
Classroom is OPEN -- buy any time, never lose access

In this class I share my tips and tricks for the four kinds of image transfers I like to do: gel medium & acetate, gel medium & paper, packing tape, and layered packing tape. We'll create transfers from photographs, newspaper clippings, magazines, photocopies, and patterned paper.

You can read more about the class here. And watch the video for a quick overview:

a sampling of STUDENT COMMENTS...
"Julie! I've gone thru 3 full, brand new rolls of packing tape in 2 'sessions'! Even more addictive than Gelli Plate printing!!! Plus, I combine tv/mag gazing time with placing (a ton of) tape... Two birds, one stone. And soak em while I pick up/toss the scraps and left over mag pieces-parts. So I'm left feeling uberproductive. Thanks. Suggestion: next year, maybe a AAA* class is in order? (*Art Addicts Anon) one 'step' per month." -- McCall
"Awesome....I've done two of these....now I want to do more. Art journalling is relatively new to me and you make it look so darned easy! Thanks." -- Pollie
"I love that the first of the month brings another class to look forward to. I wish I had known how much I was going to enjoy these classes... I'm kicking myself, now for not just buying the full year!" -- April
Getting Started with the Design Principles
Classroom is OPEN -- buy any time, never lose access

This class is focused on the seven principles of design (contrast, emphasis, balance, unity, pattern, movement, and rhythm). These seven principles are the things you should consider when creating art in order to ensure a great result!

If you're struggling with finding your personal style or wondering why your artwork doesn't quite "work," then this is the class for you!

a sampling of STUDENT COMMENTS...
"THANX a ton for all this 411, btw. I only INTENDED to buy one class, but you sucked me in with your mad skills and even better explanations/examples/explorations. Now i can hardly wait for the first of each month! Yeah. For sure: Thank you!"
-- McCall
"After taking this class, I realize that a lot of my pieces lack movement and rhythm. While I know that my style is somewhat serene, some pieces really bore me and I never could quite grasp why before. I think there have been times that I tried to compensate with bright, bold colors but because certain design elements were lacking, it was not enough. i have so much to chew on now. i can't wait to jump back in to some of these pieces with my new found tools and eye. Thank you so much for this. I feel like it will take my work to the next level. I also can't wait to take your collage class later this year! Thanks, Julie."
-- Mollie
"You know Julie, I always - and I mean this literally - I always thought of contrast in terms of color. Never did the idea of contrast by design or by style enter my mind, therefore this video was quite an eye opener! Thank you!" -- Angelika
"I think you've brought out specifically what I notice but haven't been able to verbalize when I'm looking critically at a piece of art, a collage, scrapbook page, or card. Sure, a 'perfect' card is nice, but it is boring to look at. I've always wondered what was the special sauce some people had to take their pieces to the next level. You've just handed us the keys to make our work look effortless, 'different' (even though there are only so many shapes), and appealing to the eye, but not 'perfect'. I've gone through an introduction to design principles before as well, and it was never explained with this much clarity and ease. Thanks again, Julie!" -- Jamie
"Thanks Julie. I have learned these principles along the way (probably a design class when I was working on my engineering degree), but it was good to review them with the perspective of art. As always you do a great job getting weighty principles down to something that was easy to follow and made total sense." -- Laurie
"I've been taking classes and painting (realistic watercolor and acrylic) for 17 years.  No one has ever mentioned 'rhythm.'  I find this fascinating as it is basically so much of what we call someones style.  Learning about that element of design really opened my eyes.  Thank you for this whole lesson.  It is my favorite so far!" -- Josie
Getting Started with Neocolor II
Class begins October 1, 2013

Caran d'Ache Neocolor II watersoluble crayons are intensely vibrant and highly water reactive. Learn a multitude of ways to use these watersoluble crayons and get tips on making them permanent. You can read more about the class here. Watch the video for a quick overview:

Getting Started with Spray Ink Getting Started with Collage

There are lots of brands of spray ink. However, my favorites are made by Ranger: Adirondack Color Wash and Dylusions. In this class I'll show you my most loved techinques for spraying, painting, droplet-ing, and even mixing up your own custom colors!

Class begins November 5, 2013

In this class we'll explore the basics of collage: adhering paper, incorporating paint, tearing vs. cutting, drawing, and creating a focal point. It is helpful to already have taken "Getting Started with the Design Principles," but not necessary.

Class begins December 1, 2013


You can contact Julie at balzerdesigns@gmail.com.