Last Chance for our Memorial Day Sale

nicole's classes memorial day sale!

Just a reminder that you only have a few hours left to take advantage of our Memorial Day sale! Enter the code NCMEMDAY at checkout before midnight tonight to save 25% off your online class purchase!

Happy savings Friday!

Student Work is Here Again!

We have more super student work for you from our May classes, and it’s even a day early!

We’re excited to feature another piece from Floral Arranging 101 student Hillary Schuster. In Week 3, Chelsea teaches her students how to create floral wreaths and we just love this balanced and beautiful one Hillary put together and posted to Instagram!

Nicole's Classes Student Work

Today we have just two of the many amazing illustrations we’ve seen from students this month. This first is from Stephanie Clawson — we love the scene she drew and the cute framing she chose!
Nicole's Classes Student Work

Our second piece is from Daria Penta, a longtime and loyal Nicole’s Classes student, illustrated this adorable Brownie camera — it’s so true to life and we love her attention to detail

Nicole's Classes Student Work

Have these pieces inspired you to learn something new so you can create your own floral arrangements and illustrations? If so, we have a lot of great class starting in June so check out our complete list of online classes here!

It’s a Memorial Day Sale!

nicole's classes memorial day sale!
We here at Nicole’s Classes are a very grateful bunch on this Memorial Day. We’re thankful for all those who serve and have served, and for all the family and friends that support those service people. Nicole’s Classes salutes you all!

To show just how grateful we are, starting now through Friday, we’re offering 25% off all online class purchases with the discount code NCMEMDAY. Just enter that code at checkout to see the 25% off reflected on all classes in your cart.*

Happy Memorial Day!


*Discount is not valid on past purchases or combinable with other offers. Expires 5/31/13 at 11:59pm PST.

More May Student Work

We’re so excited to share more amazing student work with you from our May classes!

We’re starting it off with a bouquet arranged by the über talented Kate Miss who is enrolled in our inaugural session of Floral Arranging 101. We love the flower choice and placement (not to mention the beautiful photo) — great job Kate!
nicole's classes student work!

And we have a hand-tied bouquet put together by the lovely Rebekka Seale. What a stunning arrangement and even more stunning photograph she created!

nicole's classes student work!

Next we have a really cool piece from Angela Harrington in our Illustrator 101 class. We love that she took the elephant to another level by adding dimensions and color texture — great job!nicole's classes student work

And lastly, we have another image this week from superstar Photo 101 student Virginie Boulon. Fun subject, great depth of field and nice exposure!

nicole's classes student work!

Are you interested in learning to create floral arrangements, graphic designs and photos like these? There’s still room in some of our June classes for you!

What’s in My Camera Bag

Well, here it is! A peek into my camera bag and recommendations.

Inside Nicole Hill Gerulat's Camera Bag / Nicole's Classes

Don’t miss all the details –click more!


An Easy Way to Revive Wilted Flowers!

Hello Nicole’s Classes readers, it’s Chelsea Fuss here to share another Floral Arranging 101 tip!

If you have a wilted blossom or piece of greenery, consider this trick for bringing it back to life! Fill a deep bucket with scalding hot water. Submerge the flower in it for about 30 minutes to an hour. Take the flower out, re-cut the stem and place in a vase of lukewarm water.

Nicole's Classes Floral Arranging 101
Your flower should come back to life within a few hours! A few tips:

-This works for most flowers but not for all. Works well with wilted greens like pittosportum or herbs, and flowers like roses, lilac, or hydrangea.

-This does not work well for white flowers (they will turn brown).

– This trick works for wilted flowers that are recently drooping or looking limp. It doesn’t usually work for flowers that have been left out of water for more than a day or that are actually dead.

Give it a try!

Benefits of Limiting Your Watercolor Palette

Hello again, Monica Lee here for Nicole’s Classes Watercolor 101 course!

Often when you are trying your hand at a new medium like watercolor, the impulse is to go out and buy hundreds of dollars worth of supplies and hundreds of colors of paint. After all, the paint is the pretty part, right?

Today I want to make a case for bucking that impulse and using a monochromatic color scheme. Chinese painters have done it successfully for centuries. When I was a young girl, my family stayed at a resort that had an “in house” artist. I would sit for hours and watch him paint elaborate paintings using only black ink. Choosing just one pigment for a piece is a fun way to practice what is called a “value study” — using a single color helps you better understand variations of lightness and saturation.

Limiting your palette can also help you unify your painting.  And it can also set an emotional tone as you can see in this work from Sean Seal.nicole's classes sean seal watercolor.

If you are working from a photo, you may consider using a black and white photo as your starting point to simplify. I used black and white photos and my imagination in this mostly monochromatic sketch of Madison Park.

nicole's classes watercolor 101

Once you try using a monochromatic color scheme, I’d say you can try using up to 6 colors in one painting. Have fun experimenting with your color palettes!

Student Work Friday!

It’s Friday, which means only one thing on the blog… we’re featuring more student work!

First off, we have an image from Virginie Boulon of our Photo 101 class. We are blown away by her great focus and mastery of depth of field… we loved seeing such a cool image so early in the class!

nicole's classes student work

Here is another great image from Photo 101 student Tori Osorio. We love seeing students learn how to capture priceless moments like these… great job!

nicole's classes student work

Next up is Stacy Blair from our Illustrator 101 course. We really couldn’t love this creative and colorful design more!
nicole's classes student work

And we have one more from another Illustrator 101 student, Katrina Scaramuzzi. We love the quote and the way she carried the rainbow theme into the design.

nicole's classes student work

We’re so stoked to see such great work in just the first few weeks of our May classes — stay tuned for more great images next week!

Lens Distortion

Have you noticed your subjects looking anything less than flattering? It could be your lens focal length and its distance from the subject!How To Avoid Distortion | Nicole's Classes

The top image was shot at 24mm and I was standing close to my subject. Notice how distortion exaggerates the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin, compared to the bottom image, which was shot at 85mm.

If you have a zoom lens, always take a step back and zoom in to avoid distortion and obtain a more flattering portrait.

In general, it’s best to stay above 50mm to avoid distortion, but if wide angle lenses are the only option, try not to shoot too closely to the subject.

This is an excerpt from my textbook, Photo 101: The Book. Click here to grab yours!

Photo 102 Student Work

We recently added Photo 102 to our curriculum and held the first session in April. We are so impressed with the work of our advanced photo students (we shared our first images from the class here), that we’re devoting a whole post to them today!

Our first two perfect-for-Mother’s-Day images are from Dawn Schaefer, who had this to say about her Photo 102 experience: “I throughly enjoyed the new class and loved the new handouts that came with it. I’ve been a graphic designer for the past 15 years and I’ve decided to take the leap and start my own business for both lifestyle/family photography and graphic design. I’m not sure I would be doing that without the classes and encouragement from you. I look at your portfolio and blog and they are both a major inspiration to me — I know if I keep pushing my boundaries and continue to soak up as much knowledge as possible, I can absolutely make this happen!

Nicole's Classes Photo 102 Student Work
Nicole's Classes Photo 102 Student Work

Our next crazy adorable picture is from Judy Beck, who said this about the class: “Photo 101 students, sign up now…this very minute. The first 102 students continually commented on the fun they were having (we’re all obsessed with light painting) and how our photography skills improved. Metering and lighting were taken to the next level. So much technical and artistic information. And I LOVE Nicole’s feedback as I simply could never know the areas and details that need to be improved without it. Both Photo 101 and 102 have heightened my sense of awareness as to the little –and large– details that make an ordinary image extraordinary. THANK YOU Nicole!

Nicole's Classes Photo 102 Student Work

The last image we loved is from Katey Weibring who told us: “I loved this class so much and learned a huge amount!

Nicole's Classes Photo 102 Student Work

We hope their work and feedback offered you some insight into this new class. And if you’re so inclined, you can sign up for an upcoming session of Photo 102 here!

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