Mixed Media Portraits with Caren Ginsberg

(12 customer reviews)



  • Course is Open
  • Instructor – Caren Ginsberg
  • Self-Study
  • 7 Lessons/6+ Hours of Instruction
  • Lifetime Access/Downloadable Content
  • Private Facebook Group
  • #portraitswithCarenGinsberg
  • Course Price – $119


Do you often feel like you don't know what you are doing when you begin a new piece of art?  Would you like to learn how to break through these feelings and enjoy the process more?


If you have ever had the fear of “I don’t know what I’m doing”, you are not alone! This course will help you break through that thought and will enable you to enjoy and create work of which you are proud.

My goal through these lessons is to… empower you to make the art that YOU want to make…to provide you with the tools and the necessary mindset to make art while having fun and feeling good about your journey.

I will talk to you about my philosophy around the art I create, in particular, and help you be the best creative you, specifically. My focus here is to introduce you not only to me, as an artist, but to what I term, The Process. It’s a great beginning.



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

  • develop your own process and feel good about it
  • engage and practice in ways that will encourage you to take risks, build momentum which will ultimately further your work
  • develop an approach to the blank canvas that will last forever
  • become comfortable with your individual style
  • focus on loosening up
  • embrace mistakes and encourage experimentation
  • create mixed media portraits from start to finish
  • build up layers
  • experiment with a variety of mark making tools
  • understand the value of value
  • improve your color mixing to mix different color palettes that will result in harmonious paintings
  • understand the relationship between colors and values
  • integrate special techniques in portrait painting


Lifetime Access - Download All Content

Prerecorded - Work at Your Own Pace

Cost - $119



Lesson one will help us all think more carefully about how to establish boundaries that enable us to approach our art with the focus that is absolutely required to do our best work.


My Process has been developed over many years, through trial and error, and has been honed into a template, of sorts, that will give you the direction and confidence you need to create your art without the impediments that your mind so often conjures up. If you follow The Process you will be well on your way to thinking about, making and being proud of the art you create. Trust The Process.


I will demonstrate some very easy exercises that you can use each time, or periodically, in order to warm up and get yourself going. These exercises are priceless and, for sure, will get you on your way.




Value is one of the most important aspects of making a successful painting. In lesson 2, we will learn why this is so; how to identify it and how to ultimately translate it to your painting. We will make our own value scale in order to see its effects. The critical nature of understanding values cannot be overstated.


Learning how to use colors, and the relationship they have to one another is often lost by those who make art, but I can tell you that I love this part of the artistic process. In lesson 3, we will view the classic color wheel, the intensity of certain colors, the properties of colors and so much more. In fact, we will also spend some time mixing colors so you can see and learn how your own efforts can expand your palette and provide you with the spectrum of color you find most interesting. What can be an endless exploration of color will take us awhile to review but I am confident that, when you are done with the lesson, you will have a deeper appreciation for what you can do with color.


Lesson 4 will introduce you to the “rules” I use to predetermine the composition I will seek to create for the painting at hand. Believe it or not, there are several decisions that have to be made and, if you are able to commit them to memory, you will undoubtedly produce finished pieces with which you are very pleased. What those decisions are and how to arrive at the right ones are key to this lesson.


It goes without saying that the most critical part of portraiture is the head itself. The placement of it on the surface and the relationship of all the features to one another are critical in establishing the expression you are seeking from your subject. You will learn very specific rules for where you want to place the features of the face, and the dimensions of the head from top to bottom and side to side. These understandings are critical to a balanced and proportionate painting, regardless of how creative you want to be with the image you select.




These warm up exercises are meant to be fun, with very little rules. They help us loosen up, gain experience, explore mark making and ultimately become more familiar with our subject. We will use our reference photo as a guide, but that’s it. Once we put in some basic shapes and lines, we will focus more on our paper, glancing occasionally at the photo. Because, again, we are not looking for a photo likeness, but rather a loose representation of our subject.



Now it’s time to “go.” In this lesson we will be very specific about how to start to lay down, on whatever surface you choose, the marks required to, well, start. We will get over the “blank page” that keeps us from actually beginning by utilizing some tricks of the trade that I have developed over time that give my portraits a construct that I can then use whereby my marks develop into a true painting. You will come away from this lesson comfortable with knowing how to get through the intimidating first few movements of starting your painting.


We will slowly walk through every, single aspect of bringing a portrait to completion, starting with the blank canvas and ending with a complete, fully dimensional portrait. We will discuss the work from the starting pencil lines, through the brush strokes and even discuss the thoughts regarding what could happen, even if that’s not the choice we make. Each step will be dissected and understood as we move through the entire process of a painting. We will employ all that we have learned to this stage in order to accomplish our goal. And, it will be fun to see it all come together!




As with the first painting, we will again examine each phase of the painting process, from the initial marks to completion of the portrait. What will be quite different, however, is that this will examine and execute the portrait process from a ¾ point of view. As well, we will also explore using a complementary color palette as we consider how to interpret and express the subject.



Lifetime Access - Download All Content

Prerecorded - Work at Your Own Pace

Cost - $119


Caren Ginsberg

Henry David Thoreau once said, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” My art seeks to engage in a way that encourages the viewer, both aesthetically and emotionally, to find something new.  I have always been intrigued with people, faces, features and expressions, all so different and yet so extremely powerful. Using multiple layers of vibrant color and liberated brush strokes, I paint portraits that are raw and expressive. In creating these visual narratives I aim to infuse a particular energy and vibrancy that will awaken an awareness of the people who surround us.

As my work has developed, my perspective and execution of stroke and rhythm have become less defined and more fluid.

Creating art, for me, has morphed from being a task of technical skill to an expressive act in itself, allowing me the privilege of transferring my ideas and feelings onto canvas. My hope is that you get to experience some of the cathartic adventure I undertake when painting. Initially I just painted for myself. Then, however, after some cajoling from my loving husband and children I began to show my work and teach classes.  And now, I am glad to say, I have students all over the country.



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. 


By no means are these musts, they are simply a byproduct of my personal experience of numerous years of experimentation, trial and error. I have a passion for all kinds of tools and materials but it is important to note that you can create something quite monumental with the most modest of tools. It’s not so much about the tools themselves but about how you use the tools. I do always recommend getting the best quality you can afford. Fewer tools, of higher quality, will serve you better. The primary supplies you will need for this course are paper, acrylic paint, medium, paint brushes and a variety of pencils, pens, charcoal, crayons.



  • 1 Sheet - Coventry Rag 22x30, 290 g, White or BFK Rives Print Making Paper, 22 x 30, 250g, White. I have cut it into two pieces, each size 14 x 17.
  • For practice exercises I use a less expensive mixed media pad of paper such as Blick Mixed Media Studio size, 14 x 17.

Acrylic Paints:

I use Nova color (a local brand), Golden Acrylics and Utrecht. In this course, I will be using the following paints:

  • Cadmium Red Light Pure (Utrecht)
  • Quinacridone Red (Utrecht)
  • Cadmium yellow Light Pure (Utrecht)
  • Cobalt Violet (Holbein)
  • Carbon Black (Golden)
  • Mars Black (Utrecht)
  • Titanium White (Utrecht, Golden)


  • White (can use Nova Color, Golden, Liquitex)


  • Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid, Satin and Liquitex Matte Medium (you do not need all of these.  I use them, but again, use what you have.)

Brushes, Color Shapers and Palette Knives:

The key here is variety. i.e. fan, long handled, round, large, flat, filbert . You need to try a few different types of brushes to see which you like best. There is no right or wrong. Also, experiment with different shapes and sizes of colour shapers, palette knives and brayers.

Mark Making Tools:

A Variety of pencils, pens, crayons, charcoal (i.e., Staedtler, Stabilo, Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Artists' Crayon , General’s charcoal)


  • palette paper
  • spray bottle
  • container of water
  • paper towels


**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.

12 reviews for Mixed Media Portraits with Caren Ginsberg

  1. Mags Phelan Stones (verified owner)

    I have taken a lot of online art courses, and this is one of my favourites… hands down! Caren is immensely encouraging and gives really considered helpful feedback. The tuition is so inspiring, and definitely a wise move for anyone wishing to loosen up and expand their mark-making. My only complaint is that the course wasn’t ten times longer! I really hope there will be more.

  2. Lucie Rondeau (verified owner)

    Caren was very present and her comments were always constructive and positive. The videos are clear and easy to follow. Caren’s teaching is also very clear. I learned so much about mark-making which was new to me. Caren’s teaching and speaches pushed me to try things without fear of failure. I hope she will give more online classes. And I am so sorry for my English 🙂 !!

  3. Linda Fadrowski (verified owner)

    Caren Ginsberg is an excellent online instructor! I have been painting for years, but have never attempted mixed media portraiture. Caren’s explanation of color theory and mixing gave me such insight into my own practice. The journey through this course was wonderful, her techniques and demonstrations inspiring. Highly recommend Caren’s course in mixed media portraiture!

  4. Ada Margarita (verified owner)

    I recommend this course to anyone who wants to loosen up in a consistent way. Caren’s explanations are very clear, very easy to follow, I’ve learned a lot. It is a great course.

  5. Jan Paron (verified owner)

    Caren awakened new skills in me I didn’t know I had. From applying color palettes to creating expressive portraits, I improved across the board. She builds curriculum progressively, one learning experience connected to the next. I found her lectures easy to understand and follow. She encouraging and helpful feedback. I’d take another course with Caren without hesitation.

  6. Denise Sedor (verified owner)

    I highly recommend this course with Caren Ginsberg. I am an oil painter and Caren opened the door to some exciting, mark making mixed media for me. She made it fun and easy to follow and encourages your own creativity. If you love painting portraits, and want to loosen yourself up, take this class!!!!

  7. Tracy Carey (verified owner)

    Caren’s Mixed Media Portraits course was super informative and a whole lot of fun. It covered mark making and layering techniques to help you overcome the fear of the blank canvas and encourage you to really get loose with all sorts of tools and media. The colour theory and colour mixing exercises were great to expand your palette and create harmonious colour schemes, but the best part of the course was watching Caren’s demonstrations as she stepped you through the process of creating a portrait from beginning to end, full of quirks and energy. I found it so inspiring, I just wanted to keep painting… with my kitchen spatula! I am eagerly awaiting another corse with Caryn. I highly recommend this course. ❤️?‍?

  8. Susan McCarrell

    This course is absolutely for anyone from beginner to experienced! Caren has a way of explaining abstract portrait work that is simplified and the course is so fine tuned it makes learning portrait work a breeze! You will really enjoy this course!

  9. Jennifer Lowe (verified owner)

    I took so many helpful things away from this course. While Caren led me fearlessly to create pieces I can be proud of, behind the scenes I learned so much about mixing monochromatic colors, making marks, preparing for the final pieces. I hope she’ll do more. A great value for any artist or one who wants to get there!

  10. Dante Shelly (verified owner)

    I had the opportunity to take her online class. She has a wonderful process that made it easy to wrap my brain around her approach. I learned so much.

  11. Cyndy Ross (verified owner)

    I enjoyed Mixed Media Portraits immensely. I learned a great deal and grew as an artist in my own style. Caren is a fantastic instructor, talking through each stage about both technical and asthetic aspects of the process. She has contagious energy. Two thumbs up!

  12. Анна (verified owner)

    Thank you very much Caren, your class is a brilliant, helped a lot to form my style! Lots of sold art works!

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