Red Sea

A self-portrait in limited colours

In this workshop you'll receive...

Red Sea - Online art course by Sabra Awlad Issa

Thank you for being here

Self-portraits are a wonderful way to connect to yourself through art. During this process you will look at yourself differently than you would normally. Think about it; very often when we look at our own face, we do so for a specific reason. Did I put on my cream? What’s that blemish there? Why in breakfast’s name do I have peanut butter on my face?!

I’ve looked at my face countless times, but never once just to observe. And that’s a shame really. When I was a kid I would spend time in front of the mirror, making faces, pushing my skin this way or that way. But I guess somewhere along the line of growing up, you learn that that’s not ok anymore. Looking at yourself for no practical reason might be considered arrogant or self-absorbed. 

Whatever the reason might be, art allows us a way back in. A way to see things in a different light. I’d love to share some of that process with you in this workshop as we paint a self-portrait.

And if that’s not your thing yet, that’s fine; just choose a different photo and enjoy the texture-making in this project. If you’d like to learn more about what this workshop is about, read on!

Much love,


What will I take from this class?


BONUS: Exploring references

Not sure what reference to use? This quick drafting exercise will help you get into a creative flow and see which pose suits your purpose. This bonus project is optional!


1. Basic layers

You have your reference photo ready to get started! We’ll start with creating basic, yet dynamic layers to establish the basic features and feel of the face. 


2. Texture

Adding texture to your surface at an early stage gives an extra dimension to your work. Here, I work with paper tissues and acrylic gel medium to create texture in just the areas I need it.


3. Structure

With out limited palette we can create a wide range of values to shape out the features of the face. Even though we go into detail more in this part, we still try to maintain a loose style.


4. Details

After we’ve painted the basic structure of the face it’s time to focus on more details that make our portrait unique. We look at color temperature, composition, hair and the ear.


5. Final layers

Time to bring this painting to an end and see what we’d still like to add. I will show you several techniques that you can use such as glazing, paint transfers and drips. 


Here are the materials we're going to be working with. You can also download the supply list for more info on substitutions!

- Watercolor paper, any kind
- Acrylic paint in: Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Red, Blue and White
- Two sizes of brushes, preferably square or angular
- Palette knife or a piece of cardboard
- A rag or cloth
- Charcoal for sketching

Drawing guides

My goal is to make all my classes accessible for all levels, even if you're just starting out. It's also important to me that you have fun. If sketching isn't for you or if you feel like going straight into the painting process, feel free!

I have created drawing guides and outlines for you to use as you please. Trace them, transfer them, do what makes your art process feel good!

PDF guide

Looking for something and don't feel like watching all the videos again? No worries! I've created a PDF guide with all the painting steps, including still images from the videos for you.

"Red Sea"

A self-portrait workshop in acrylic paint

32.00Add to cart

Prices are in Euro's but during checkout you will be able to pay in your own currency. Use the converter below to get an estimation.

Frequently asked questions

A workshop is generally shorter than a full course. It focusses on a specific technique and palette. Usually you can finish a workshop project in a few days.

When you register for any of my online workshops, 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.

Yes, you can download all videos and materials for private use! Please don’t share any of the materials.

Yes, this workshop is designed specifically to help you through the process of painting, step-by-step. Some techniques may prove to be a challenge but I will explain it to you in a way that allows you to follow exactly what I’m doing. There are drawing guides that you can print out, to help you no matter your level. Please keep in mind that learning is a process. A beginner will need different expectations than an experienced painter. Don’t feel discouraged if you’re not able to master some techniques at once. Art is a skill you can hone and my art community is a safe and judgement-free zone where you can share your progress.

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

When you do a self-paced workshop, you can ask any questions or share work in my private Facebook community. I will be there often to reply or answer questions!

You can download the supply list for this workshop from this page! Scroll up a bit and you will see the button.

Because this workshop is instantly accessible and downloadable, I cannot grant refunds on it.

For workshops, I unfortunately can’t provide a payment plan.

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 workshop 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 website under “Contact Me”. You can also send me a message on Facebook or Instagram.

Convert to your currency

I live in the Netherland so all my class prices are shown in Euros (€). When you check out, your payment will automatically be converted to your own currency at the current exchange rate. No extra costs are involved and you don’t have to do anything! If you want to check what this course will cost in your own currency, you can get a good estimate with the converter below.

From USD

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