How to Easily Transfer a Sketch to a Painting Surface

I had a fellow artist ask me about how I transfer my sketches to my painting surfaces. After trying to explain it, I decided to make a little video.

There are many ways to do this, but during these times of staying home, this low-tech process is easy to do with just a pencil, piece of charcoal and paper.

Click on the link below to watch the short video:

I think it’s so interesting how everyone has a different creative process. Some things I have changed over the years, either to utilize new technology or work smarter, but many of my processes have stayed the same.

I am sure I am not alone when it comes to adapting your creative process to your environment and tools the tools at hand.

Have a wonderful, joyful and creative, day – Janell


Online Art Store is Opening Soon!

I have been working on adding an online gallery store to my website these past few months and I am getting ready to open it this week on, Friday, June 5th! YAY!

If you have browsed my website lately, you will have seen a new button “Shop” with a notice that says “Coming Soon!”

Well, soon is almost here!

“Mary Helen,” Tea Bag Paintings Series, 4″ x 6,” Mixed Media on canvas, $59


I will be announcing new art on my Instagram and my monthly newsletter.  If you enjoy my art and you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, now would be the time to do it! 😁

grace three vintage dresses painting

Grace, acrylic on canvas, 10″ x 10,” $235

I have been showing my art at brick and mortar galleries, gift shops, and art shows, but this will be the first time I have my fine art paintings for sale online. I am so excited to be making my work more easily available.

So, what will be available in my online gallery store?

Lush Trees, acrylic on canvas, 10″ x 10,” $235

I will have original paintings on canvas, paintings on natural wood slabs and burls, my new mixed media recycled tea bag paintings, and maybe a few surprises!

tea bag painting of vintage dress by Janell Mithani

Betty, mixed media on canvas, 4″ x 4,” $39.99





I will be adding new paintings every week and I will continue to post about my art process here on my blog.

fairy and deer painting on wood slab by janell mithani

Friends, Acrylic on wood slab with natural bark edge, 8.5″ x 9,” $189

To celebrate, I am planning a giveaway of a painting on Instagram over the weekend. If you would like to follow me on Instagram and Facebook , click on these links.

Well, I better get back to painting. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and read about my art journey.

Have a wonderful, creative day filled with joy, Janell

Fire Painting

This is my newest painting in my Wildish Spirit series. I was inspired to paint this after all of the fires in California and Australia.

I started thinking about it when we had fires here in California last year. Then a friend of mine, who lives in Australia, had to evacuate from her home twice this last Fall. So I thought I would create a painting of one of my forest spirits rescuing animals from both Australia and California to honor all the animals that were lost in the wild fires.

This is my original sketch for the painting. I enlarged it on a copy machine.

Animal rescue from fire painting by Janell Mithani

This is the background of the painting.

Here are a few in-process photographs.

Almost complete…

Fire in california and Australia painting by Janell Mithani

And here is a close up of the character and animals in the painting.

Sweet Animal Paintings

In February, I had an event where I had a display of my art and fairy gardens for sale. Since I had recently had a couple commissions for baby animal paintings, I thought it would be a good idea to create a few small animal paintings for the event.

Do you have a favorite animal?

Here they are all together.

I have really enjoyed creating these sweet little animal paintings. I hope they brought a smile to your face.

Have a wonderful, creative, and joyful day! Janell

Art Design for Business and Professional Women’s Conference

I was so happy to be asked to create a piece of art for the California Federation of Business and Professional Women’s conference. It was really fun to work with the women on their board and to create this piece. They wanted a leaping woman since their meeting was on February 29th, Leap day.

bpw leaping woman art by Janell Mithani

This is the front of their conference program.

bpw program wiht art by Janell Mithani

Well, I better leap back to work! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Have a wonderful, creative, and joyful day, Janell



New Tea Bag Paintings

I really love to drink tea. I started recycling my teabags and painting on them shortly after my mom passed away last May.  It started out as my art therapy, and turned into something I really love to create.  It also gives me a chance to create smaller pieces while I am working on my large paintings.

Tea bag paintings by artist Janell Mithani

I decided to adhere them to canvas and set them on wood easels.

Many of these paintings are of dresses and I have created a new series: Every Size, Shape, Color, and Age.  I am titling them after suffragettes.

I have created so many, they now have their own page in my online portfolio. I am also working on creating an online store for my paintings, these  will be my first to add to the store.  I have been selling locally and have shipped my art all over, so I think it is time to set up an online store, you know, in my spare time.  🙂

This is a set I created of flower paintings.  A collector stopped by the studio the other day and purchased the set. They are on a thick, wrapped, 3″ canvas. I can’t wait to see how she displays them.

This is the first one I created. It reminds me of a dress I had when I was a little girl.

Are you a fan of drinking tea?  Herbal or black tea?  I’m having a cup of herbal cherry tea at the moment.  The pink stain on the tea bag is giving me an idea for a painting…

Have a wonderful, creative, joyful day!  Janell



Posted in Art

New Tea Cup Fairy Gardens for Spring!

I am ready for spring!  I’ve been feeding my spring fever by creating these adorable tea cup fairy gardens. It’s amazing how much time it takes to create each little garden and get everything set just right.  It seems I am a fairy perfectionist! 🙂  Hmm… and I have no idea how moss got all over my studio!

My kitchen is blue and white, so I am not surprised one of my blue and white teacups became a place for fairy’s to play.

blue and white tea cup fairy garden by Janell Mithani


Here is a close up of the sweet bunny.

And a little butterfly perched on the blue flower.

Of course, we had to have a fairy having tea in a tea cup.

Here is a closeup of the fairy having tea.

This little fairy garden popped up in a shoe. 🙂 I sculpted the little house from clay.

Fairy garden in a shoe

This is a little fairy mushroom farm in a vintage milk glass dessert cup.

Fairy garden in a milk glass dessert cup by Janell Mithani

This horse themed fairy garden sits in a Thomas Kinkade tea cup and saucer. I just love the little trees I made out of moss “rocks.” After I took this photo, I added more moss and another horse to the saucer.

Horse fairy garden in Thomas Kinkade tea cup and saucer by Janell Mithani

And last but not least, my sweet little dragon friend needed a little house and garden.

dragon fairy garden by Janell Mithani

I hope my fairy friends and their gardens brought a smile to your face.

Have a wonderful, creative and joyful day!  Janell




New Fawn Paintings on Wood

I have finished another painting in my “Wildish Spirit” series ,”Yearling.”

It is a mixed media, mostly acrylics on a wood burl.  My dad gave me the burl when we were cleaning out his shop a few years ago.  I sanded it smooth and put a couple of coats of clear gesso on it to prep it for painting.  I am really enjoying painting on the natural wood and keeping the wood grain as a part of the painting.

fairy and deer painting on wood burl


Here is a close up of the face so you can see the wood grain.


I also painted this sweet deer on a wood slice for my niece for Christmas.

fawn painting on wood slice by Janell Mithani

I did a quick little sketch on paper.

sketch of deer by Janell Mithani

And then I transferred it to the wood slice or “cookie” to paint.

fawn painting Janell Mithani

I hope March is off to a great start for you.  It is raining here today, so I am getting lots of ‘catch-up” work done in the studio.

Have a wonderful, creative, and joyful day!  Janell







My Journey Creating the “Protector” Painting

I am so excited to finish this new painting, “Protector.” It is the largest canvas I’ve painted to date.

And it was quite a journey, so I thought I would share my process with you.

I purchased the large canvas, 3′ x 5′ on Mother’s Day, 2017.  My mom and daughter both lived out of state, so this was going to be a quiet day and I decided I would go to Blick Art Store as my Mother’s Day treat.  I’m pretty much like a kid in a candy store at an art supply store. Who isn’t?!

I was thinking I would get a mid-sized canvas for a landscape with trees and deer that I had been working on in my sketchbook, so I decided to just drive our little compact car instead of our van.  When I was in the store browsing, they had just gotten in a group of larger canvases and I really liked the configuration of this 36″ x 60″ canvas.  I had a wonderful sales person who helped me get the canvas in my little car, with not an inch to spare. 🙂

I started thinking about the winter storms and the forest, and started sketching one of my protective “Wildish Spirit” characters sheltering young fae children and animals under her cape. So many of my pieces are feminine figures sheltering young animals from harm, so this piece evolved from that feeling of compassion and maternal love, too.

From that Idea, I started sketching child fae characters in my sketchbooks and once I had a few drawn, I started building them into the large sketch.  I shot a picture of the sketch with my camera and resized it to fit the canvas.  I finally printed it out on my 8 1/2 x 11 printer in about a dozen sheets of paper then spent about an hour taping them all together…

Once I had the sketch together, I started painting the background. (January of 2018.)  I hung the canvas on the wall in my studio as it was too big to fit on my easel.

I taped white paper behind the painting to protect the wall, but the tape didn’t want to stay, and after re-taping it about 50 times, I gave up and pulled it down.  And yes, I got paint all over the wall…I am NOT a neat painter. I think it’s the Scorpio in me. 🙂

As I painted the piece, I actually added in even more little sweet fae children and animals in spots that seemed to just need them.

I blocked in everything and then started in painting all the little details… and there were quite a few!

At last, they started to get some personality.  I added woodland animals in and around the children. I used pictures of my grandnephews, friends, and my daughter when she was a child, as loose reference as well as sketches that came from my imagination.   I wanted all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors for the children.

I worked on the protective fairy figure’s face last. Like many of my characters, she came out with reddish locks like me. 🙂

Through the course of painting this, I thought of many things that were going on in our world and in my life.  I live in Southern California, so the children who were were being separated from their parents at the border was something I thought about a lot while I was painting. Just the thought of being separated from my daughter and not knowing where she was terrified me.  Being in a foreign country would have really increased that terror.

I worked on smaller paintings in between this painting and spent a bit of time traveling and visiting my parents and sister as we were getting their house ready, putting it on the market, and then moving them in with my sister.

Throughout my painting process, I texted my mom updates.  She lived far away from me, so we would text back and forth as she really enjoyed seeing my art process.  She would always be so encouraging as I texted her updates and this painting had lots of updates.  In the spring of 2019, I had painted all of the purple haired little ones (her favorite color) when she got sick and went into the hospital.  The picture above was the last picture I texted to her.  She passed away on May 8th, 2019.  I was very fortunate to get to spend a lot of time with her in March and April along with my sister and dad,  When I came home after her memorial service, I had a pretty hard time getting back to painting, the studio was just too quiet for me. I didn’t paint for about three months.

I subscribe to (I highly recommend subscribing) and in July, I was getting caught up on my emails that I had ignored for months and I read an article by Karen Chernick about an Italian painting, “Mother of the Innocents” by Domenico di Michelino from 1446.  Here is a link to the article.

The article was about a film about the conservation and history of the painting.  The painting was commissioned by the Institute of the Innocents, and had been found in their archives.  It was being restored in Florence, Italy by two women conservators, Elizabeth Wicks and Nicoletti Fontana.  David Battistella created a documentary film The Innocents of Florence, the quest to save 600,000 Children about the conservation of the painting and the history of the orphanage that commissioned the painting. It was shown in Florence and I hope it makes it’s way here to Los Angeles as I would love to see it.

This article really spoke to me. As I looked at the pictures of the painting, googled even more pictures of it, read about it’s history, and the history of the orphanage… I knew I needed to finish my painting.  It was like this huge voice in my head was saying to me, it’s time to get back to your art.

While searching the web about the painting, I also read this article on by Shauna McGinn. A beautifully written article with many thoughts I shared while researching and learning about the history of this painting.

Here is another picture of my finished painting.

As soon as I finished my painting, I was asked to share it at a district meeting for Business and Professional Women in Burbank, CA. It was set by the main stage of the event and lots of attendees took their pictures with it.  (Which I totally loved!) I got such great feedback about the painting and many attendees asked if I was going to make prints of it… Hmmm…something I am thinking about.  I am also looking into other venues to share my painting, so if you have any ideas, please let me know.

I encourage you to link to these two articles that I mentioned above and view the historic painting that inspired me to finish my painting.   And, as always, I would love to hear your thoughts.

I wish you a wonderful, creative, day,  Janell

In Memory of My Mom, Janie Sills, 1942-2019

I’ve been taking a few months off from social media and my blog as my mom passed away on May 8th, and I have been busy with family, and quite honestly, I just haven’t felt up to writing or painting.

I took a three month break from painting, but I am back in the studio again and feeling inspired. I know my mom would want me to continue to create art as she was one of my biggest fans. I miss her so much. She lived in Oregon, and I live in Southern California, so I would text her pictures at the end of each painting session so she could see my progress. She would always respond with words of encouragement.

One of my favorite photo;s of the two of us – And we are in our nightgowns! 🙂

Another favorite, just a few years later 🙂 at my Niece’s wedding.

She was born in December on the family farm in Nashville, Arkansas. This is is the first picture of her, she is about 3-4 months old.

She was the youngest of four children and was definitely the baby of the family. Just like I was… 🙂

She was quite the little farm girl. You should have seen all the pictures of her with cows that I saw while I was looking for this family photo. 🙂 She named all of the animals on the farm.

I believe she is 11 in this next picture. She is holding her first “store bought” doll that her sister, Jo bought for her.


She was a blonde when she was a little girl. She is the little one in the front with the black ribbon in her hair.

Her teen years, the 1950’s.

She graduated from Ashland High School in 1959, Ashland, OR.

She loved animals, especially cats!

She married my dad, the love of her life on her 18th birthday. They were married for 58 years.

Our family… I am the redhead on the left in both pictures. My sis and I are 11 months apart, and we had the greatest childhood, growing up in a small town (Hilt, Ca) right on the border of Oregon and California.

This picture of the four of us was from a couple years ago.

My Mom was a secretary and could type faster than I could talk! I used to dictate my term papers for high school and college to her. She was the secretary for the First Baptist Church while I was growing up and then she worked at the hospital and for a radiologist office before retiring.

She loved social media, especially Facebook. If I didn’t check for her posts during the day, within a few hours, she would be calling me to say… Did you see what I posted? 🙂 I really miss all of her posts and comments.

My mom had an incredible singing voice, she sang alto and could harmonize with anyone and really enjoyed singing in church. We grew up singing in the car, even if it was just a short five minute trip, we managed to sing at least one song. This is her performing in a musical at church.

Purple was her and my dad’s favorite color. It became our families favorite (especially their granddaughters), so there was plenty of it around!

She had four grandchildren and was a wonderful grandmother. This is her with my daughter, baking her wonderful chocolate chip cookies.

I took this photo on a visit to Oregon. My grandmother is pictured here with my aunt and mom. My mom is holding my nephew, Brandon and my aunt is holding my daughter. Their cousin Rachel is down in front.

After a long day of shooting (with film), I had a few shots left on the roll. Mom and dad were visiting, so my husband took this picture of the three of us,

With her two oldest grandkids when they were little, they now have young children.

At the Oregon beach with her oldest granddaughter

With my sis…They color coordinated in this one! 🙂

She had four grandchildren, five great grandsons and the sixth great grandson was just born a few weeks ago. We were fortunate to have our mom with us for many years, even though we wish she would have stayed with us a lot longer.

Here she is having fun playing with one of her great grandson’s.

And snuggling with another.

Below is a copy of the last page of her memorial service announcement. The Oregon coast was one of her most favorite places and she spent many summer vacations at Harris Beach, in Brookings, OR, with family and friends.

Our mom’s voicemail message always ended with “I probably love you.”

Thanks for reading and indulging me with my memories. I am looking forward to getting back to blogging about my art process and catching up on reading everyone’s posts on WP.

Have a wonderful, creative, day, –Janell