(3 customer reviews)


  • Artist – Melinda Cootsona
  • 10+ Hours of content
  • Lifetime Access/Downloadable Content
  • Private FB Community
  • Course Price – $149 USD
  • All Sales Final
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Would You Like to Experiment with Color and Abstraction?  Interested in Learning New and Interesting Techniques to Use in Your Artwork?

We are proud to add Melinda Cootsona to our roster of online instructors!  In LEAN INTO FIGURATIVE ABSTRACTION, Melinda will share with you many of her secrets to creating figurative abstract paintings that work!  This course will begin with two warm up lessons to teach you more about simplifying the portrait for abstract work, and seeing objects as "shapes".  Next, Melinda will teach you two different ways of working with color in your work!  The first figure painting will focus on expressive color, and how you can use the color wheel to come up with different color combinations for your work.  The final figure painting will focus on a neutral, limited palette, which will have a completely different feel than the first!  In both, you will learn how to use cold wax with oil paints, and work through the "puzzle" of completing a painting as we work on balancing the composition.  This class is chalk full of ideas and inspiration for your own artwork and I hope you will join us in class!


By the end of this course, students will have an understanding of the following concepts:

  • See key shapes in the face
  • Simplify your faces when creating a more abstracted figure
  • Explore expressive color
  • Create a painting using a limited palette with expressive color
  • Use a photo as a jumping off point but not something to copy
  • Discover how to watch your painting and let it lead you
  • See your painting as a whole composition and not subject matter and “background.”


Lifetime Access - Download All Content

Cost - $149


This course will begin with two warm up lessons on abstracting the face.  In these lessons, I use a “selfie” photo.  In the first lesson we will create a black and white portrait where I will teach you my secrets to simplifying the face by seeing everything as shapes.  The good news is that I have a GREAT tool to assist me with this, that you will find really helpful in future artworks.  Part two of this lesson is painting the selfie in an expressive way, using nontraditional 'flesh' tones.


Now we begin working on a full figure or a cropped figure. We will use a limited palette called a tetrad which is chosen from the color wheel. Melinda will show you how to work through a painting changing the colors and composition as you go until you feel the painting is complete.   Melinda will be working in oil and cold wax, and will be demonstrating many cold wax techniques and tools, however, feel free to use just oil paint or acrylics. Cold wax is not essential.

***cold wax cannot be used with acrylics


After playing with all that color in our first figure painting, we will focus on limiting our palette with neutral colors. In this painting Melinda will use grays and other neutrals which will give the resulting painting a very different feel.  She will continue to demonstrate more cold wax techniques, and, again you will watch her work through the puzzle of completing a painting as she works through balancing the composition.



Lifetime Access - Download All Content

Cost - $149



I am an artist now living in the beautiful Coachella Valley of Southern California. I was born and raised in Silicon Valley and am a California girl through and through. Inspired by the California landscape, colors, and light, I look to capture it’s essence in much of my work.

Thick, gooey oil paint is my medium, and my work is created by applying layers of shapes, colors, and textures of paint to the canvas over a period of days and weeks. I also now incorporate cold wax medium into much of my work to create rich history, texture and transparency.

I have been teaching painting to students of all levels for over 20 years. My goal is always to inspire students to find their own voice in their work, and to build confidence in their creative process. This world needs more creative people and my goal is to help you find your creative potential whether you are a beginning, “returning,” or experienced artist.



This course will have a private Facebook group just for you!  The artist will be actively involved with the class via Facebook the first four weeks the course is open!  After that the course will be a self-study.  The artist may or may not be involved after the four weeks.  We are looking forward to seeing your artwork!


Below is a list of the supplies that I will be using for the projects in this course.  However, you are always encouraged to use what you have on hand.  Please do not go out and buy everything if you don't have the products.  First watch the videos and see if you need the materials. 


  • Arches Oil Paper or other appropriate substrate
  • Birch panel (preferable if using cold wax), or Canvas


You are welcome to use oil paint or acrylic.  I use oil.  Keep in mind that cold wax can only be used with oil paint, not acrylics.

  • Titanium White
  • Black
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Cadmium Red Light
  • Permanent Green Light
  • Gamblin’s Radiant Blue
  • Gamblin’s Radiant Violet
  • Cadmium Lemon
  • Van Dyke Brown
  • Cerulean Blue Hue
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Quinacridone Red
  • Cadmium Yellow Medium
  • Cadmium Yellow Lemon
  • Buff Titanium
  • Gamblin Greys
    • Portland Cool Grey
    • Portland Warm Grey
    • Neutral Grey
    • Portland Grey Dark



  • Variety of paintbrushes that you like to use


  • Shaper tool
  • Brayers or squeegee
  • Cold Wax
  • Odorless Mineral Spirits or water depending on your medium 
  • Charcoal or graphite (optional)
  • Assortment of palette knives
  • Oil Bars (Optional) Brands
    • R&F
    • Shiva
    • Paul de Marrais
  • China Marker
  • Freezer Paper
  • Gloves
  • Paper towels


**Upon purchasing your course, you will be asked to create an account and go through the purchase process (even if the cost is $0 for a free course).  If you have already created an account, after purchase your course will IMMEDIATELY be available under “LOGIN” at the top right-hand of karabullockart.com.

**If your course does not show up, please email us at karabullockart@gmail.com

**Due to the nature of the immediate availability of the course, all purchases are nonrefundable.

**Please talk to the artist of the course about his/her policy on selling artwork created in this course prior to selling any works created during course.  Some artists will allow it, while others do not.  Thank you for your support.


  1. Laurie Pace

    While I have not taken this course here with Kara’s school, I have taken quite a few course from Melinda and one was Figurative Abstraction about two years ago. As an art teacher myself of over 40 plus years, Melinda is the real thing, and she TEACHES you as you go, and you continue to learn or be reminded of something you have not used or done in awhile. She is incredible as a teacher as well as an artist. I recommend her at the top of my list for artists because of the value of her teaching skills and her abilities to lead you through some great discovery! I may have to sign up and take this again!!

  2. zohra1026 (verified owner)

    I saw Melinda Cootsona’s work in Santa Fe and loved it. I have wanted to take a class with her and am thrilled to take one now.

  3. Rkirby (verified owner)

    Melinda I love your art, and I loved this class. The only thing I would recommend would be to zoom in during the painting process like when you did her hands. I know you show still photo close ups, but it’s nice to see it while your painting. Other than that I loved this class. I have a couple of pieces that I started and am excited about finishing them. Thank you!!!

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