(14 customer reviews)



  • Course is Open
  • Self-Study
  • 8 Lessons/10+ Hours of Instruction
  • Lifetime Access/Downloadable Content
  • Private Facebook Group
  • Instagram – #MixedEmotions
  • Course Price – $99
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Our hands and faces are an important part in conveying our thoughts and feelings.  In this course we will focus on both hands and portraits, and combine them to create images that speak. In three lessons on painting hands and four full and real-time portraits we will explore a variety of tools and techniques. Our goal is to create visual interest in an artwork that leaves some things unsaid and up for the viewer’s interpretation.



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

  • Basic anatomy of and common mistakes made in rendering hands
  • Create accurate features for angled faces
  • Measure the size of the hand compared to the face
  • Suggest facial features without drawing detail
  • Build up visual interest in layers
  • Multiple ways to start off a painting
  • How composition and contrast influence the mood of your painting
  • Create texture and dynamic
  • Mix a variety of colors with a limited palette


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Prerecorded - Work at Your Own Pace

Cost - $99


This course was created from my own experiences, going from drawing realistic pencil drawings to finding (part of) my own way of seeing people and translating that to art. For a long time, I worked on art only to please others and get recognition for my technical skills. At some point, I was even afraid to add anything unique or creative to my work because I feared it would disappoint people. Then I just quit and didn’t do any art for years. It took a long time and a fair amount of personal changes, before I was ready to take a leap and do the things I wanted to do for myself, instead of others.


I’d like to share with you some of the things that I’ve found so far during this journey of building up a style of work that speaks my own creative voice. Some of those things are very personal, some are simple tips and others are artistic skills and methods.


I believe that technical skills are tools that you can use to support your unique creative vision. Without tools, our vision cannot come to life and without vision our tools are empty. I’d like to share some of my own ways of doing things, in the hope that you find something that you can add to your toolbox and take with you on your own creative journey.



Before we get started on our main lessons, I’m going to show you how I stretch large sheets of watercolor paper. This will ensure that my paper will dry flat when working with acrylic paint, ink and water. Stretching paper is a personal choice and many artists don’t do this. It’s not a requirement but I do want to give you the info. If it’s not for you, please just tape your paper to a surface any way you like.


Once we have our paper ready, we are going to warm up by creating some quick, dynamic sketches!



The first three lessons will focus solely on hands.  We will start off with painting a single hand in an easy position in black watercolor. Starting out with a relatively simple position of one hand, we’ll take some measurements to scale the hand accurately for the sketch. I’ll be moving through the steps of this first sketch slowly, placing the joints and correcting some mistakes. If you are experienced and comfortable sketching yourself you can skip the sketching video and go right to the painting process in the second video. During the watercolor stage we’ll focus on layering, background and a bit of detail.


Our second lesson features a hand in a more foreshortened angle. The sketching phase will be a little quicker as we are painting with acrylics and can correct any shape using paint. This technique involves only acrylic paint and gesso!  However, you will learn how to create drama with just these materials!


In the final hands project, we’ll tackle a more difficult composition; two hands, partially overlapping each other. We’ll add depth and marks using dry media and water.



In this lesson we will start off by discussing the materials and reference photo used. You will learn how to draw or imagine certain guidelines to help place the facial features correctly. We will discuss the effect of foreshortening on certain areas of the face. Next, we will continue with our main portrait by creating a rough underpainting in gesso. You will learn how to use a variety of mediums to build up depth and texture. Our materials will be in a muted color palette, allowing us to focus on creating interesting contrast and marks. You will learn about rhythm, directional flow and moving from the rational phase into a more meditative state of creating.




In lesson 5, we will be using a very limited palette.  We’ll be using two colors and white. The reference is a portrait where the hands are visible and intertwined, but don't worry!  We will take it easy with basic shapes to get all the features placed correctly. Another goal for this lesson is to create interesting contrast, both in terms of value and color temperature. Lastly, you will explore how to make choices for your background and break up larger shapes or areas.

project02-final copy 2


Lesson six will focus on a reference photo where the hand covers part of the face.  We will begin this lesson by creating a visually interesting background, using acrylic ink, alcohol and transferring paint with scrap paper. This process will create some interesting shapes for us that we will then use as the features of the face. You will learn how to make sure all visible features are properly aligned. This lesson will still be using a limited palette, but you will learn how to add variation to your pieces by mixing different shades of Burnt Sienna and Phthalo Blue. 

Screen Shot 2019-02-15 at 1.53.08 PM



By our final lesson, my hope is that you have gained some confidence and experience; things you can put to good to complete this final piece. I’d like to invite you to do a self-portrait with me. For some of us, this may not be something we’ve done before or are comfortable doing so I recorded a few minutes to explain to you what this way of working has added to my art. Even though I provided a supply list, you are encouraged to select a palette that is in line with your vision of your own self-portrait. The techniques and methods that I’d like to share with you do not depend on a certain palette. This final project is really about you making your own choices that are powered by your creative vision.


Lifetime Access - Download All Content

Prerecorded - Work at Your Own Pace

Cost - $99



I’m Sabra, a self-taught portrait artist from the Netherlands. I was always interested in drawing but never chose to dedicate myself. Instead I built a business in application design and development. As most of us do, I tried very hard to balance my need for art and music with work, deadlines and clients. The result was that I failed at both. I found that I’m no good with balance or with moderation. I’m a do-or-die kind of person; at my best when I can give something my all and very anxious when things are in the way of that.


Two years ago my son asked me, “should I do things that make me unhappy?”. As my brain was trying to come up with an answer suitable for a 7-year-old, every other fiber in my body screamed “NO!”. No, you shouldn’t kiddo. That question touched me so deeply at the time and I realized that instead of answering it, I needed to start living my answer. A few months later I quit everything and started painting every day. I’ve never been more driven, content and scared all at the same time.

I paint humans. Often I wonder if maybe I should try painting something else. Or add some object or symbol. But then I end up painting another face. It took a while but I’ve accepted that that is what I do. If I had to paint the same face every day for the rest of my life, I’d still be happy. I love learning in the online community and sharing my own experiences with different materials.



This course will have a private Facebook group just for you!  I will be actively involved with the class via Facebook during the four weeks that the course is open!  I am really excited about working through these exercises with each of you!


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. 



  • I work big so I use paper around 16x24 inches. But please use any size you are comfortable with. Get a good weight, 140lbs/300grm and up.
  • Watercolor paper or block, size around 9x12 inch
  • Sketching paper / newsprint

If you want to stretch your paper you’ll need:

  • A rigid panel/surface that is larger than your paper
  • Paper glue tape
  • Masking tape
  • Two sponges
  • A spray bottle

Dry media

  • Vine and/or willow charcoal
  • Charcoal powder or a mortar and pestle in which you can crush a piece of charcoal
  • Compressed charcoal (stick) (can substituted for a dark soft pastel or regular charcoal)
  • Charcoal pencil
  • Soft pastels in 4 values (dark (not black), 2 medium, light (not white))
  • Water soluble pencil
  • A white pastel or white charcoal pencil


  • White gesso
  • Acrylic paint in:
    • Black
    • Titanium white (you can substitute with white gesso)
    • Titanium buff (if you don’t have it, mix a tiny bit of raw umber with white)
    • Burnt umber
    • Raw umber
    • Burnt sienna
    • Phthalo blue (if your preferred brand has different shades, get the green shade, pigment 15:3)
    • Payne’s Grey (if you don’t have it you can always mix blue with some black)
  • Black watercolor (tube or pan, I use Ivory but you can use any dark shade)

Acrylic inks:

  • Blue (I use Daler & Rowney FW Marine Blue, no. 151)
  • Gel medium (gloss)


  • 1 inch brush
  • ½ inch flat brush
  • ½ inch angular brush
  • A mop brush or any larger brush that can hold quite some water
  • A small detail brush

Other tools

  • Pieces of cardboard cut to a variety of sizes
  • A palette knife
  • A palette and preferably a plate for when you add a lot of water to your paint
  • A cup or dish for your ink
  • A reasonably large rag (old pillow cases, sheets, clothes etc are great)
  • Pieces of scrap paper, color or pattern not important. Not too thin, 80 lb or up.
  • Some yarn or string
  • Spray bottle


**Upon purchasing your course, you will be asked to create an account.  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.

14 reviews for MIXED EMOTIONS

  1. kathy j sandler (verified owner)

    Sabra is a very thorough and detailed teacher who also gave us information that felt like you were in a professional class. Her instructions were easy to follow, fun and new. I enjoyed this class tremendously and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to take their art to another level!

  2. Julie Lee (verified owner)

    This is an exceptional class. Sabra is a really inspiring and supportive teacher with a wealth of knowledge that she conveys in a clear, interesting and inspiring way. If you want to challenge yourself and make artistic discoveries this is the class for you. I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

  3. Camille Simard (verified owner)

    Learned new approach never seen before, wow. Also teaching us to let go of our fears. Fantastic teacher. Thank you so much Kara for introducing us to her.

  4. Debbie Rooney (verified owner)

    I am partially into this class and so excited about the next section! I never imagined that I’d be able to tackle hands like this. Sabra’s thorough, easy explanation of the anatomy of hands was wonderful!! If you want to incorporate hands into your art and convey more emotion into your portraits, you will love this class!! Highly recommend it!

  5. Wendy Holmgren (verified owner)

    These lessons are crafted skillfully and thoughtfully. I feel like Sabra is my friend and I have been hanging out in her studio for a month, listening and watching . These techniques have really pushed my portraits to another level. I am still working on the third class portrait and then I will what happens when I do a self portrait . Can’t wait to put an old self portrait next to a new one!

  6. Vivian Rad (verified owner)

    Read the course description, line by line and you will find that every word of it is true. This is exactly what Sabra will guide you through. Sabra is a wonderful instructor and she has a way of gently nudging you in ways you didn’t know you were capable of. She simplifies the anatomy teaches you how to look at things differently so that your brain begins to see things differently. She encourages your style and methods while introduces you to her system. Your portraits and paintings will definitely shift and will show more emotion and energy. It is a great step forward but will require students to do the work and practice in order to evolve and grow. I very much enjoyed learning from Sabra. I definitely recommend it and will continue to re-watch many of the lessons.

  7. Fern Wallach (verified owner)

    Sabra is a talented and professional art instructor! I’ve learned what layering means. I’ve learned how to mix colors and paint with less. I’ve learned about charcoal and how versatile that medium is along with painting with gesso. I’ve felt different after taking her course and my paintings are full of depth and substance. Very highly recommend this class for students who are seeking to learn and use varied techniques more with their paintings! The best!!

  8. Libbi Corson (verified owner)

    This class is beyond what I imagined or was expecting. The instruction is very easy to follow and allows your art to reach another level. Sabra is full of amazing insights and is such a calming teacher. I will use what I am learning for the rest of my life in many ways. I highly recommend this class for whatever level you are on, whether a beginner or have been doing art for years. You WILL learn amazing techniques.

  9. KATHY REED (verified owner)

    An excellent excellent class. Very well thought out and skillfully presented. I value the information here so much that I am doing each project twice to make sure the knowledge is embedded in my brain.

  10. Cat Hartgraves (verified owner)

    Such a wonderful experience. My first online coarse experience. I’m thinking that Sabra might have set the bar extremely high! Although I’ve been a professional in the arts for over 35 years, I think I went to the next level because of this coarse.

  11. Debby Scherer (verified owner)

    Sabra deserves a 10 star rating!. I have years of practice and experience in several mediums and believe that Sabra has created a masterpiece for all levels of artists. She shares an abundance of knowledge in a fun, easy to follow and extremely professional manner. I found myself smiling, laughing, feeling incredibly inspired, motivated and much more. I would highly recommend this course for anyone that would like to add or enhance the emotion in their work. Thank you Sabra for sharing your talent with us.

  12. Cyndy Ross (verified owner)

    I found this class inspiring and transformational. I grew so much through all the projects. Sabra is a thorough and professional instructor who also connects in a real and open way with her students. I highly recommend this class.

  13. aino.shperber (verified owner)

    Sabra is not only a phenomenal artist but a wonderfully gifted teacher. This course is highly recommended!!! I’d give it six stars if I could. ⭐

  14. KELLEY BERG (verified owner)

    I really benefited from the course work and instruction in this class. I needed to re-enter painting practice after a prolonged slump. Sabra’s approach, instruction, and choice of subject matter were exactly what I needed. I had a blast and learned a ton. Thank you Sabra and the KBAS team!

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