(1 customer review)


  • Class is open!
  • Instructor – Ce Duff
  • 5 Lessons/7+ Hours of Instruction
  • Lifetime Access/Downloadable Content
  • Private FB Group
  • Course Price – $79
  • All Sales Final
Gift this online course or workshop to a friend. All online courses are downloadable, and we offer lifetime access. Please be aware that the gift card you are purchasing will be for the amount listed above. If you purchase this gift card while the course is on sale, the card will be worth the amount you paid on the date of purchase. Be sure to let the recipient know that if the gift card is used after the sale ends, recipient will be responsible for paying the difference of the course price. Send a gift card for this course


Would You Like to Discover a Playful Way of Painting Portraits?  Wouldn't it Be Amazing to Create a Portrait from Start to Finish and Have Fun Through the Entire Process?

Join Ce in her new course, LIFE IN LAYERS, where we will learn ways of working with collage in your portraiture work. Class will begin by creating our own unique collage papers, then discover how to work with other translucent papers to build depth and detail. Explore the process of layering to let your character emerge. The class will move on by beginning with a fully collaged background, allowing that background to guide decisions and seamlessly shine through in the finished work.  Throughout the process, Ce will help to find your way with colour harmony and composition. Working both intuitively and with a reference, we will practice our portrait painting skills.  All the projects in class are created on small substrates.  This provides the opportunity to master the art of working with small brushes to paint facial features on a small scale. If you love portraiture, paper, layers and colour, this class is for you!




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

  • Discover ways to create your own collage papers
  • Build interest in your portraits by layering paint and collage
  • Use “addition and subtraction” in the collage process
  • Work intuitively to create your character
  • Create harmony in your colour palettes and flow in your composition
  • PainT faces on a small scale
  • Explore drawing and painting an “intuitive face”


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Cost - $79


There are three activities that will warm you up and prepare you for the projects that follow.  First, we create some of our own collage paper using tissue and acrylic ink, then we warm up our hand by drawing small faces on teabags.  Finally, we pick up our sketchbooks to explore what face emerges if we don’t have a reference to guide us.

In lesson 1, we create two small studies using the same reference image. We will start playing with layers of collage, ink and paint to get a feel for the layering process, using the inkblot collage created in the warmup.  There are two approaches to rendering hair and it’s also an opportunity to practice your skills in drawing and painting a face.


The second lesson introduces more variations and ways to expand on the use of collage in a small portrait painting. We paint one of our teabag faces from the second warmup, and integrate her into a collaged background on a small 4”x4” board. We then work intuitively to build up translucent layers around our teabag character. This lesson also focuses on the challenge of painting a small face with small brushes.

Lesson 3 will begin with a fully collaged background, thinking about composition, space and flow.  We then take one of the intuitive sketches from Warmup 3 and transfer it onto the background as the subject of the painting.  While the previous lessons were about addition, you could say this lesson is a little about subtraction - carving areas of the background away to isolate the subject.  It’s also about using the patterns and colours from the underlying collage to direct the piece and shine through as individual elements in the composition.


This bonus lesson brings together many of the ideas covered in the previous lessons.  We start by creating our own sheet of collage paper, using newsprint, leftover paint and a variety of mark making tools.  This brings your own personal mark making touch to the project.  Again, we begin with a sketch of the subject in the sketchbook and transfer it to the substrate considering about how the subject might fit into the composition of the background.  We then continue to build up the subject and the background with additional layers of paint and collage.


Lifetime Access - Download All Content

Cost - $79



My name is Ce Duff and I am from Aotearoa New Zealand. I have loved art from an early age, but abandoned the dream of being an artist in high school. However, the tug to the creative life never went away and I came and went from artmaking throughout my adult life. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s I learned to paint in oil and took classes with a local portrait artist, painting from a live subject. This was my first taste of portraiture, but yet again I backed away. It wasn’t until a visit to an exhibition in 2015 that my inner artist was reawakened and set me off on my current creative journey. In 2017 I was introduced to this online art community and participated in “Let’s Face It” for the first time. Since then, I have exhibited at my local art society, created online workshops and am currently a resident artist in an online gallery.

For me every artwork is a voyage of discovery - into the process and into myself. It is an ongoing process of learning and I constantly seek new ways to find and express the thoughts and story behind a face. I love the experience of connecting to the past by bringing vintage subjects to life on the canvas, often amidst an intuitively abstract background. This is a fusion of the art forms I love the most - painting, portraiture and an intuitive process. I enjoy experimenting with all mediums, but currently work mostly in acrylic, mixed media and collage.


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. 


  • Small scale substrates - I used: 4”x6” offcuts of Crescent Hot Press Watercolour Board (but you could also use small canvas boards), 4”x4” and 4”x6” cradled boards, 6”x6” deep edge canvas
  • If your boards need sealing and priming, you will also need a sealer like Golden GAC 100 and either clear or white gesso
  • Derivan Matisse Coloured Gesso in China Red (optional)
  • Teabags, soaked, dried and emptied
  • Sketchbook



  • Waterbrush or Watercolour brush
  • Brushes – small and medium: I used a


Choose colours that coordinate with the colour palette of your collage papers.  I used:


  • Derwent Inktense



  • Liquitex Acrylic Gouache - Titanium White (optional)
  • Golden Glazing Liquid Satin
  • Liquitex Acrylic Inks
  • Golden matte medium
  • Liquitex matte gel
  • Gesso
  • Golden Soft Gel Semi Gloss (optional)
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Tracing Paper
  • Black fine liner
  • Willow charcoal
  • Tape
  • White Tissue paper
  • Lightweight collage papers: e.g. napkins, Japanese fibre papers (rice, mulberry, unryushi), sewing pattern tissue, inkblot tissue (created in warmup 1), doily, collage words
  • Water mister
  • Plastic packet/Non-porous surface
  • Drying rack
  • protective gloves
  • Newsprint
  • Mark making tools
  • Paint palette
  • Water wipes
  • 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

**If your course does not show up, please email us at

**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 review for LIFE IN LAYERS

  1. Patricia Wilson (verified owner)

    I loved this course! Ce is a great teacher and explains her processes well. There are three lessons as well as a warm up and a bonus lesson so lots to do. Miniatures are a little difficult but Ce gives good instruction (and you could paint a little larger). I loved the collage, layers etc and was inspired to do more.

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