(3 customer reviews)



  • Course is Open!
  • Instructor – Renee Mueller
  • Self-Study
  • 8 Lessons/9+ Hours of Instruction
  • Lifetime Access/Downloadable Content
  • Private Facebook Group
  • #portraitofaladywithRenee
  • Course Price – $59

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In this class, we will look to the portraits of women painted by 18th and 19th Century artist for our inspiration. My intention for this class is not about studying a master artist, but to study the women in the portraits, their clothing, the setting, the hairstyles, the color palettes, and embellishments. We will speculate about their untold stories, the ones they kept close to their hearts. So, with a slight nod to the past, we will explore a variety of techniques to create inspired contemporary portraits.



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

  • Find inspiration from the past and weave it together to create original, contemporary portraits.
  • Successfully develop a beautiful color palette.
  • Understand how different types of charcoal can be used to create beautiful, ethereal, layered portraits.
  • Create the framework of the face and understand the relationships between the features to create a successful and expressive portrait.
  • Design beautiful lush flowers by layering acrylic paint and soft pastels.
  • Transfer a drawing on newsprint to a final canvas or cradleboard.
  • Mix two different flesh tones with acrylic paints using a limited palette.
  • Create a final portrait in acrylic paints and pastels to create a luminous expressive portrait
  • Design a simple pamphlet journal from materials you have on hand.



Gather Inspiration - Lesson 1

Lesson 1 is actually a FOUR PART lesson!! We will begin by sifting through old art journals, sketchbooks, images, colors, books, paper, notes, and anything else that may have meaning to us.  As I do this, I find that something begins to shift inside of me and helps prepare me to create. 

Next, we are going to create a simple pamphlet journal for this class. Of course, you can add all of these items to an existing sketchbook or art journal if you prefer, or use this new one!

After that, we will explore soft charcoal, compressed charcoal, powdered charcoal, white charcoal, and liquid charcoal. I will demonstrate how I use each one in developing a portrait. Also, how to achieve different effects using powdered charcoal and acetone.

Finally, we will create a color palette in our little journal for reference. Feel free to use the colors I’m using or work with colors you love.



Christina is one of my former dance students who is currently studying with the Boston Ballet. She is a fierce and expressive performer and commands the stage. I wanted a strong, young female image for us to use as inspiration for this first portrait!


In this lesson, we will explore charcoal and the many different effects you can create using this beautiful medium. I will also walk you through how I create a portrait using a reference photo. We will begin by using soft charcoal to establish the relationships between the features. We will move to create a “scaffolding” of the face and head as we further develop the portrait. I will share how I combine classical portraits techniques along with more expressive techniques and marks to create a beautiful and soulful portrait.


Inspired by 18th Century portraits of Jean- Honore Fragonard


In this lesson, I was inspired by the women who sat for these portraits. I was drawn in by their sensuality, their clothing, adornment, and the settings.  I felt compelled to know more about who they really were as women, or at least speculateMy intention for this project is not to “Study the Masters” but to look at the subject and create a story that would be inspiring.  I wanted the women to be lost in thought. I also wanted to combine the floral adornment of Fragonard’s paintings and create a neck piece of flowers that would bring a feeling of femininity and sensuality to the portrait. I chose to keep their faces “ghostly” but filled with line and texture that is juxtaposed against the floral neckpiece.  Watch as I create two pieces using this method!

Les Fleurs 2 frame
Les Fleurs 1 A
Les Fleurs Detail 2
Les Fleurs 1 cropped


In our final lesson, I will demonstrate how I transfer a drawing on newsprint onto a toned cradle board. In addition, I will also demonstrate two different flesh tone formulas and one formula for painting hair as well.


We will use acrylic paints and finish off with a touch of pastels to create a luminous portrait of a lady.


Lifetime Access - Download All Content

Prerecorded - Work at Your Own Pace

Cost - $59



I received a BFA from the University of Michigan in Dance and Choreography. I danced professionally and had the honor of teaching dance at the University of Michigan's Musical Theater and Theater Departments. 

Growing up in the magical world of theater and dance I was exposed to so many gifted and talented artists. Collaborating with dancers, actors, choreographers, musicians, set, costume and lighting designers was an incredibly rich experience. It was fascinating to watch how a small idea would unfold into beautiful productions.

My love for theater and dance is a constant source of inspiration for my art. I hope that by sharing my techniques and creative practices, you will find something to spark your imagination.

I currently live in Ann Arbor, Michigan with my husband Marc, who continues support all my creative dreams, and our beautiful daughter Olivia.



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.  Any supplies can be used with this class as this is more about you creating your own inspiration and then working from those photos using the materials of your choice.  Below I am listing supplies that I will be using in my own lessons.  You are not required to purchase any of the items listed below unless you so desire!




  • Powdered Charcoal
  • Vine or Willow Charcoal
  • Nitram Charcoal - Green B & Yellow - Soft
  • Big Stick Charcoal - use code ROKA for discount
  • General's Charcoal Pencils - H, HB, 2B, 4B
  • White Charcoal Pencil
  • Acetone
  • Spray bottle
  • Pastels - If you’re new to Pastels, I suggest trying out the Dick Blick set of pastels and then ordering a three flesh tones from Sennelier - dark, med, & light. Or, just select a few in colors that you love.
  • Caran d'Ache Pencil
    • Dark flesh 40
    • #80
    • #89
    • #745
  • Stabilo Pastel Pencils
    • 675
    • 645
    • 585
    • 64
    • 435
    • 640
    • 770
  • Soft Pastels in your favorite colors  - I use Sennellier  and have most pinks, green golds, olive greens, ochers, blue grays
  • Soft Pastels in flesh tones


Acrylic Paints: Please use what you have on hand


Note: I will demonstrate two flesh tone formulas and we will choose one for our final portrait.


  • Flesh tone #1 Alizarin Crimson, Nickel Azo Gold, and Payne’s Gray
  • Flesh tone #2 Quinacridone Crimson, Nickel Azo Gold, and Payne’s Gray  - you may substitute Ultramarine Blue for Payne’s Gray


**You may also use the Zorn Palette or any formula you feel works best for you.


  • Alizarin Crimson - you may substitute Quinacridone Crimson or Cad Red Medium
  • Quinacridone Crimson - you may substitute Alizarin Crimson or Cad Red Medium
  • Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold (I’m using Golden Fluid)
  • Quinacridone Magenta
  • Cadmium Red Med
  • Julia’s Pink by Charvin Paris
  • Pale Pink - I don’t use this much and you can mix white with Cad Red as an option
  • Yellow Ochere - Optional - I end up using a yellow ocher pastel.
  • Titanium White
  • Payne’s Gray
  • Bone Black - Golden’s Fluid -optional
  • Chromium Oxide Green
  • Sap Green - Optional
  • Green Gold
  • Raw Umber
  • Burnt Umber
  • Raw Sienna



**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.

3 reviews for PORTRAIT OF A LADY

  1. kathleen (verified owner)

    Loved the class – so much instruction included in the beautiful projects.

  2. Lloydene Lucille Cook (verified owner)

    I highly recommend the Portrait of a Lady class. I’m currently enrolled in it, and several of Renee Mueller’s other classes. Her style of teaching is so soothing and inspirational, and the finished products are gorgeous. The instructions she gives are very clear and she takes you through the projects step by step so you will be successful. Definitely 5 stars!

  3. betty wilkins (verified owner)

    Renee Mueller’s classes are exquisite! Her instruction is clear and considered. . . the content is beautifully presented, always! And the lady herself is relaxed, delightful. . . charming. I just adore Renee’s inspiring classes (I think I’ve taken them all, and will continue to sign up for each new one offered)!

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