Live class 2023

Basics I

Explore the foundations of creative portraiture

Early Bird registration opens August 14, 2023. Get on the waiting list to be the first to receive an email when it opens!

Would you like to...

All of us, who come together in our love for the human form, have started somewhere. It could be a memory of the joy of art, or an encounter with a captivating piece of art in a museum. All passions start with something special, and portraiture is no exception.

I know many of you come here, eager to learn the technical requirements for painting portraits. And I am not here to argue otherwise. But before you put your mind to all those measurements, those features and their respective difficulties, consider this; you’ve chosen to dedicate your passion, time and energy to the subject that has occupied artists throughout time; the human face.

project one / portrait in a monochrome palette
Charcoal, gesso & acrylic paint
project two / portrait in two tones
Acrylic paint
project three / portrait in a limited palette
Acrylic paint & ink
project four / (self)portrait in a custom palette
Acrylic paint
Previous slide
Next slide
hands: project one
Black watercolor
hands: project two
Acrylic paint
hands: project three
Pastel & charcoal
Previous slide
Next slide

This is course is here to help you get started and lay down a solid foundation for portrait work. It will focus on the most important part of a recognisable human face: the underlying structure. Have you ever looked at an old photograph, one with barely any details? And did you notice that – even without those details – you are able to see a human form without a doubt? That is the idea behind the underlying structure.

Will we not go into details then? Of course we will! This course is structured in a way that it builds up the level of details in your portraits. We will explore all the facial features and how to construct them. At the end of this course you will have a solid understanding of the human face in different angles, and you’ll be able to transfer this knowledge to any future project.

I’m here to help guide you through these projects, both on video and in virtual life, through our private Facebook community. I hope you enjoy reading more about “Basics I” on this page. If you have any questions regarding this course, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Much love,


In this course you'll find...

What other students are saying...

Maxine Schutter@mschutter
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There is something special about Sabra. Her artistry is rich and deep and haunting. Her teaching is centered and thorough and her presentation quite calming. There is simply no one quite like her out there. It is a pleasure to study with her.
Helen Moreda@helen.moreda
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Love Sabra’s classes. The right amount of information so that you learn and yet have room for your own style. She is so thoughtful and generous!
Ann Rudd@ann.rudd.10
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Sabra has such style, in her art and her demeanor! She offers thoughtful instruction, with details and depth. Highly recommend!
Parvin Ghamsari@parvin.ghamsari
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Sabra walks you through every step of the painting from colour mixing to end. Very informative. Recommend her class highly.
Carol Burns@carol.burns.338
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Trying to decide whether to do a class can sometimes be difficult and slightly daunting when you're not sure what you will be getting. Worry not. Sabra is a wonderful teacher who metephorically holds your hand through every technique she demonstrates. She is a master at what she does and she shares her knowledge generously. I can't recommend her classes highly will be amazed at what you create with her guidance. Go on. Sign up. You won't regret it! C x
Leah Griffith@leah.griffith.96
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Sabra’s art is masterful, her teaching style smooth. She goes at an easy pace, explains thoroughly, while expanding your confidence and skills. She creates magic! Thank you, Sabra!
Shirley Tatro Gordon@shirley.t.gordon
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Sabra’s skill as an artist reaches far beyond the unique and mesmerizing art she creates. She has the ability to effectively explain, demonstrate and generously share her knowledge and process. She presents complex concepts with basic, understandable instructions and guidance. Sabra’s classes are challenging, but deeply rewarding and should not be missed. She will help you grow.
Kathy Reed@kathyreed25
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For me, if I see a class offered by Sabra, I am taking it right now, no questions asked. This is because she offers the most thorough explanations and descriptions that also include her own uncertainties and vulnerabilities as a very real person. Her work is unique and filled with emotion, a goal for which I strive. As a teacher by profession, I greatly admire her ability to teach and want to learn from her again and again.
Cathy Hartgraves@cathy.hartgraves.3
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I must say that with most online classes i soon loose interest and rarely complete it. But with Sabra's unique emotional, humorous, completely relatable commentary,and masterful directions, i couldnt stop watching!! Not only did i complete the coarses, i created some of my best best work ever!!! I even had sales from these works. Need i say more?
Fiorenza Gorini@fiorenza.gorini
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Sabra’s class was definitely one of my favorite. Her unique style and approach inspire you to try new directions in a fearless way. Every step of the demo was very clearly explained and helpful in achieving a beautiful result.
Libbi Byrd Corson@libbi.corson
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I will take Sabra's class every time. I have learned so much from about seeing, painting, staying loose, being fearless and even more about myself through her sharing about herself and her processes. Her classes have truly been worth more than what I've paid for them. I look forward to the next class!


What are the projects in this course about?

This course features three main chapters, based on the different angles of a portrait: front faced, en profile and the three-quarter head. Every chapter will explain in-depth how to construct a head and its facial features in that particular angle. In the second week of each chapter, you will complete a full portrait using the techniques learned.

Learning to construct a head and its features

Every chapter in this course, will take two weeks to complete. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to let all the information sink in. During the first week of a chapter, we will focus mainly on the construction of the head, and its planes and facial features.

I’ve tried to create a good balance between giving you technical information and more creative exercises. I know this is different for everyone, but I get really tired and uninspired when I spend too much time on just technical stuff. 

hands: project one
Black watercolor
hands: project two
Acrylic paint
hands: project three
Pastel & charcoal
Previous slide
Next slide
hands: project one
Black watercolor
hands: project two
Acrylic paint
hands: project three
Pastel & charcoal
Previous slide
Next slide

Creating a completed portrait

During the second week of the chapter, we will create a portrait from start to finish. I will walk you through every step of my process, and give you ideas to make it your own.

My video are in real-time; there is no speeding up or skipping parts. That makes it easy for you to paint alone with me. You can occasionally pauze the video to work on a step or take a break. But everything I do is right there in the videos for you to see.


Are you ready to join me?

Early Bird registration for this course starts on March 13, 2023. You can sign up for the waiting list to be the first to receive an update when it opens. Seats for live classes are always limited, so this way you’ll most likely be able to join!

your curriculum

What will this Live Class look like?



Let’s construct a front-face head, using lines and planes. I will show you correct ways of measuring your subject, and translating that to your surface. We will also learn about the facial features in this angle.


The Front-Faced Portrait

In our main project we’ll complete a front-faced portrait. I’ll show you ways to create values with lots of texture and visual interest. We will take all our knowledge from week 1 and translate it to something that speaks to us.


The Profile Head

In this chapter we will learn all about the human head, viewed from the side, or ‘en profile’ if you want to get fancy about it. 😉 This angle may look tricky, but I will show you how to break it down and place all the features correctly.


The Profile portrait

In this portrait, we might want to explore a little bit more colour. You can choose one or two colour to complement our monotone values. 


The 3/4 HEAD

Our last angle is of course the trickiest one. 🙂 When the head is 3/4 turned, you can still see both sides of the face, although they are very different. We will tackle this angle this angle with a number of exercises and tips.


The 3/4 Portrait

Our final main portrait will allow us to pour all our creativity into it. I’ll show you a number of ways to create different values and color temperatures.

Teacher feedback & support

One of the major advantages of joining a live class (i.e. a class that opens up for a limited student group on a set date) is teacher feedback. I provide this feedback in a private Facebook group. Only students of the current live class and myself are in this group, and it’s no visible to any of your Facebook friends that aren’t part of the course! I usually provide feedback, suggestions and visual correction for you within a few hours. (depending on the time here, we all live in different time zones!) 

You can also ask questions about materials or other art related topics. Some students find it very helpful to share their insecurities with the group. There is a lot of cohesion and support in student groups like these. 


Do I need to purchase new materials to join this course?

You don’t want to join a course, only to find out you have to purchase a fortune worth of supplies. Most of the materials used in my projects are basic supplies. They’re also available in almost every country in the world. For every project, I will also give you suggestions on what to replace them with, if you don’t have them. So no need to worry about major expenses! Download the supply list on the right to see what I suggest for this course.

exclusive content

A growing library for students

As a student of my art school, you will automatically have access to a collection of free lessons and resources, intended to help you with the foundations of art and to expand on the current course you are taking. The Student Library started in 2021 and is ever expanding! And best of all, it will be free to students who have joined the course here!

a selection of what you'll find here

Are you ready to join me in this course?

"Basics I"

The Early Bird discount will be available on August 14, 2023!

€ 219,-

€ 169,-

Prices are in Euros (€) as my business in registered in the Netherlands. You will be able to pay in your own currency during checkout at the current exchange rate.

Frequently asked questions

When you register for any of my online courses, you can login to you account here my website. From your account, you can access any course you’ve purchased. No need to get up or go out! 🙂 

Your account and courses are private; that means only you can access them. You can access your available lessons any time that suits you. That also goes for lesson information, supply lists and reference photos. It’s all well organized in your course environment.

Some of my courses have a specific start date. On that date, I will open the course and provide you with the lesson for that week. If you’ve signed up for a course that hasn’t started yet, I will send you an email when it starts and you can log in!

A self-paced course is open for registration throughout the year. When you sign up, you get immediate access to all the lessons in that course. You can go ahead and start right away! Track your progress by marking your lessons complete after finishing. You can work at your own pace whenever it’s convenient for you, there’s no set schedule. You can come back any time and resume or repeat lessons. If you have any questions, you can send me a message or post in my Facebook group. I don’t provide in-depth feedback on self-paced courses but I’m always around to help!

A live course start at a specific date and runs for a number of weeks. When you sign up, I will keep you informed through my mailing list. When we start, I will send you another email. You can log in and view the first available lessons. Every week a new lesson in provided until we’ve finished the course. After finishing the course, all lessons and content will remain available to you. So no worries if you fall behind or skip a week! You can go back, catch up or repeat lessons whenever you want! During the weeks that the course runs, I’ll be available daily in the private Facebook group for that course. You can interact with me and other students that are in the course!

Yes, you can download all videos and materials for private use!

Yes, this course is design specifically to help you understand the foundations of drawing the face. We’ll be dealing with some difficult angles but I will explain it to you in a way that allows you to follow exactly what I’m doing. There are several drawing guides that you can print out, to help you no matter your level.

You can always access this course by logging in at my website. In the navigation menu, go to “My account” and you will see your courses there.

During a live course I will provide feedback on your work if you ask for it in the Facebook group. I will be present daily for the duration of the course. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can also email me. 

When you do a self-paced course, you may ask any questions or share work in my general Facebook group. There are a lot of nice people there and I will be there often to reply or answer questions.

Only for courses that haven’t started yet. Because all my courses are downloadable, I cannot grant refunds on courses that have started or are self-paced and thus immediately available.

Yes I do, please contact me for more information!

No, not at all! If you have any questions during a live course, you can also email me for feedback.

Lifetime access means that the courses you’ve purchased will be available to you on this website for as long as the course is for sale and I’m in business. Should that time ever end, I will inform you and give you plenty of time to download videos and materials that you want to keep.

You can contact me using the form on this page. You can also send me a message on Facebook or Instagram.

Ask me anything!

If you can’t find the answer to your question in the FAQ on the left, please let me know! I’ll try to get back to you within a day. You can also contact me on social media if you prefer that.

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