Fractured Portraits ecourse

I have created this blog for any questions or comments on this course, but be sure to join the private Facebook page for posting your work.

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class availability

I can't start the class now, how long is it available?

Hi Kate, I can't start the

Hi Kate, I can't start the class now, how long is it available? \
Thank you!

It is a self paced class so you can start anytime

All my classes are self paced so it doesn't matter when you start. It will always be here on my website

planes of the face

Hi Kate,
Did you post somewhere the outlines for the planes of the face that we can print out?

Look at the very bottom of the videos in the class

There is a link there as well as in a file in the Facebook group

Hotpress watercolor paper

Hi Kate,
What brand of watercolor paper do you recommend?

I always use hot press 140 or 300

Usually Arches

Fractured Portraits ecourse | Fractured Angelics

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tracing paper

Why are you drawing on tracing paper instead of directly on the paper. You still have to transfer it onto paper. i never found a good way of doing that.

I do that because of all the steps to create the planes.

That is why each layer is color coated so it is easier to see the progression. T he one I use as a transfer is printed on copy paper. The tracing paper approach is just for me to have to help remember the steps taken to do it.

Judy Downie

If you read this, I need you to email me. You signed up for a class and I tried to send you the information but your email bounced back. Please email me if you see it at so that I can send you the correct information and get you into class....thanks...kate


What are the main differences between your new eclass and the pre Raphael course? Thank you! Louise duhamel

Louise I sent you an email about this.

Did you receive the email I sent you?


Yes, I did receive your email about this..thank you very much!

transferring your design

So you print the face that's on the tracing paper onto copy paper...I understand that...but how do you 'transfer' the copy paper one onto water color paper? Thank you! Louise

Louise just use matte medium to adhere the image onto the

watercolor paper. Just think of collaging that image onto the watercolor paper. You don't have to transfer. You should really join the Facebook group. I think the interaction with the other students would be good!
So does that make sense to you?


Where is everyone finding these beautiful faces to paint? There are so many wonderful paintings on the Facebook page that painted using very interesting faces, but the images I like on the internet are either really small or they have been airbrushed and a lot of the shadows are missing. I would appreciate any sources you all might have!

I have a pinterest board-Fractured Portraits

Here is the link
I also have the link at the very bottom of the class after all the videos.

Paint mixing

I'm so sorry to be a bother with all my questions, but I have a couple more!
1. After you mix up your various pallet of colors, how long do you have to work with them before they dry out?
2. What is the wet painting pallet you talked about and is that something we make or we buy?
3. What is the purpose of the underpainting and is it always in gold tones?
4. Do you wait for the previous layers to dry before adding a new one?
5. When painting with your pallet of 5 to 7 colors are you blending those colors or are just placing them on top of each other to achieve your desired values?
Thank you so much for your help with all of this!

Whoops! One more question!

When you are painting your portraits with your acrylics are you using the retarder in any of your colors or color mixes?

Here are your answers

1. I use the stay wet pallet so my acrylics can last almost a week. 2. Here is a link on how to make your own. and here is a link to purchase one:
3.I use the underpainting to create structure and to create my shadows and highlights. I don't always use the gold but I liked the effect because I leave some of the underpainting visible as I paint my layers. I love the glow it produces. The typical underpainting is something like Burnt Umber.
4.I always work wet on wet because I like some of the other layers to mix in with the top layer. You can get some blending effects I like. If I want some of the brushstrokes to be visible I do wait till the bottom layer is dry.
5.I always mix my paints before I start. I know there are 2 videos where I share my palette and what colors I mix to create my colors for the painting.
6.Only the High key portrait I use the retarder, it is great stuff.
Hope this helps!

I am so's me again!

I love the look of the r and f oil sticks, but can not afford to get all of the colors just now. Are there a few good basic colors I can start with? Thank you!

R&F oil bars

My favorite are the sepia, rose madder and alizarin orange. I f you can only get one it should be the sepia. You could get your white in a Shiva Stick.

quin violet and crimson

Can I substitute quin crimson for alizarin crimson? How about the quoin violet? I am having trouble getting my hands on them! Thank you again :)


I also can't find the holbein marigold...sorry!

Yes, you can substitute and use the alizarin crimson.

Holbein marigold you can get at Jerry's Artarama but you can substitute a warm yellow like cad. yellow instead.

Quin violet

What would you substitute for the queen Violet? Thank you!

Fractured Portraits ecourse | Fractured Angelics

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You could use ultramarine and alizarin crimson to make a reddish


More questions. Sorry about that!

I am working on that piece with the oil bars and I have a few questions for you. Have you ever tried using the Clay shaper to apply the oil sticks? Would that give you a little more control than the pallette knife? Also how do you mix the Shiva sticks with the linseed oil before you apply the Shiva sticks to the painting?
Do you spray the charcoal with the fixative before you start applying the pigment sticks?
Lastly, golden acrylics does not appear to have quin Violet. Could it have different names? Thank you so much!

Oil bars

The clay shaper is a good idea. You can definitely use that instead of a palette knife. I put the oil sticks on a piece of palette paper and mix the oil sticks with the linseed oil there. I don't spray the charcoal although you can if you don't want to charcoal to mix. I don't mind it mixing and I am not fond of the sprays but you definitely can do that. Here is the link to the color you are asking about.
Hope that helps!

Thank you so much, Kate!

Thank you :)

More questions...I am such a pain...I am so sorry!

Hi Kate,
I am such a pain in the butt and I apologize profusely for all of my questions, but I really am a beginner and things that are obvious to many of your students, leave me stumped. So please, take your time, unpack your bags, and just get back to me with these when you have time. I can always spend a few days cleaning instead of painting!
So here are my questions:
1. Can I do the charcoal and gesso video on any paper other than copy paper? Can I do it on watercolor paper? I did one already on the copy paper and for some reason, being able to see the line where the copy paper ends and the watercolor paper begins, was bothering me.
2. Do I let each layer dry before applying the next one, EXCEPT in your high key portrait where you are painting 'wet into wet"? I did the video on the planes of the face, in which you used paint, only I did it on a 'real' face. I have never worked with open acrylics before and I found that the open acrylics started sticking after a while and so my brush strokes were getting stuck in the still wet bottom layers...perhaps I was putting it on too thick?
3. I REALLY noticed that if you get one feature wrong...lips too big, nose too high, eyes too small, etc. then the whole face was off. So how do you put the paint in there precisely enough to show the features right but still stay loose? Is the key getting the first couple of light layers, which I think you call an underpainting, right? What attracted me to this class was your loose style, but I can't seem to achieve it!
That's all of my questions, however I do have a really funny story. My cats watch the videos with me because of all the birds that are chirping in the background...then one day my little trouble maker cat wasn't in the room and I heard this really distressed meowing so I stopped the video and was frantically walking around the house calling out to my cat, Picasso. Well he never answered and I thought he was stuck somewhere and I got upset...until he finally showed up in his own good time. When I went back to the video I heard the insistent meowing again and low and behold, it was coming from your video!
Lastly, I got an email from Art Unraveled, as I do every year, and saw that you are teaching there! If this is your first year, get ready to have a really wonderful time! The other instructors there are wonderful and so are Linda and Chuck. I taught there for many years as a metal clay artist until I got ill and I was sad to see that only a few people from the old days are still there. Anyway, I did have a ball teaching there, so have fun when you are there in Aug. I also taught at Art and Soul and that's another good one, if you don't already know about it. I taught at the very first Art and Soul many years ago, if you can believe that!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions! Fondly, Louise Duhamel


1.You can use watercolor paper to do your charcoal drawing on. I sometimes mount my copy paper to the watercolor paper and sand the edges where the two meet so you don't see that line. You could also use graphite paper to trace the drawing on the watercolor paper.
2. I always work wet on wet with my acrylics for the most part. If you don't like the stickiness of the open you can use the regular acrylics and add retarder to give you more time to dry and keep the acrylics wet. I love the stickiness part. I usually scrub my brush in there and move it around. You do need a firmer approach so you can really imbed the paint but not everyone likes that approach.
3. If you do the measuring you can get the features in proportion. Start with the eye and measure everything from that. The head is usually 5 eye measurements across. Really look and analyze the handout of my line drawings. When you draw the circle, the upper lip hits that circle on the top. Take a ruler when you first draw the first eye on. and work with that.
The looseness ONLY comes with practice. I worked very tight for some time and eventually I got comfortable with understanding the face that I could loosen up.
Yes my cats are very vocal!!! I taught at Art Unraveled last year and had so much fun. I look forward to going back. I have been teaching at Art and Soul the past couple years. I am going to the Virginia Beach this year and next year Portland.
Hope I helped answer your questions..Kate

Thank you for your time and help!

Thank you for your time and help! You are so kind :)


Don't think I'm crazy but who is doing the music at the end of the 3 videos on unfamiliar pallet? I love that music and want to purchase it. It is so soothing to paint to.

fractured angels - Art Unraveled

Hi Kate! I was wondering - if we take your class Fractured Angels in Phoenix at Art Unraveled, do we get a discount if we also purchase the same online class? I have a feeling there will be so much awesome information and I will need a refresher! :)

Hi Kelli

Yes Kelli! Remind me when we meet and I will announce to the class you get the class for $50. rather than the $85. I will be covering new material in the class at AU but I think this is a great idea to do. Thank you and see you in a couple of weeks!

Two-pencil drawing

Hello Kate,

First off, I absolutely love the two-pencil drawing approach. Thank you. It is really freeing me up. I couldn't catch the name of the person you where inspired by. Would you be able to let me know who s/he is? In deep appreciation, Margo

Hi Margo

It was inspired by Jim Dine....check him out!!

Painting questions

Hi Kate,
Just a couple of quick questions, as I am trying to figure out the structure of creating a painting :) I have learned so much...for instance, just a month ago I didn't even know what an underpainting was! t am currently working on the girl in a different palette and I notice that a couple of times after place down a layer of several different colors, you will then cover those color with white. Do you do this to 'kind of start over' if you don't like the colors you lay down or is there a different reason for this? I have noticed you doing this in several of the paintings and am hoping I can figure out what the purpose for it is. Also, since I am SO new at this, I need to kind of follow you 'layer by layer'. My colors seem to be the right shade of color, but look different than yours once I have them on the face. I finally figured out that you might not be painting with the paint straight out of the tube :) So, do you water the paints down before applying them sometimes? If so, how much water and when do you know when to water them down and when to use the paints full strength? As usual, thank you so much for all your help with this!!!

Hi Louise

I like the layering effect. I do go over with white some of the colors to mute them down. No I am no starting over. I feel that each layer is important and it gives it a history, rather than just one or two layers. There is always a hint of the layer underneath. There is no real system other than that I try to leave the parts I like from each layer if I can and then add onto it in more layers. It brings a more 3 dimensional look to the work. I also like the different layers of brushstrokes. When I go over a layer I usually change the direction of the brushstroke so that it is adding to the piece. I always mix my colors on a palette and very rarely use the colors from the tube. There is a video at the beginning of this video that shows me mixing the colors. I like doing this because it forces me to use only the colors I started with. If I want to introduce a new color I mix it with the colors already in my palette. I very rarely water my paints down unless I am glazing and then I will use the retarder. You are asking very intelligent questions Louise!

Thank you!

Hi Kate! Thank you for your wonderful answer. I now understand the Layering effect much better. I have been mixing my paints according to your video on mixing paint colors. I guess what I meant by putting the paint on the canvas straight from the tube was that you didn't water it down at all. Now I understand that generally you don't add any water to your paints. There are some videos were you say you are painting on a thin layer of glaze. Does that mean you have watered down that particular paint to create the glaze? Also, when you are painting your lips you usually say you are painting the lips into the face so that they are not sitting on top of the canvas. How do you go about doing that? Thank you again for all your kind answers. Fondly, LOUISE

Sorry for the delay Louise....

You ask such great questions! It would be great if you ask some of them in the Facebook group. I am sure there are many students that would find your questions valuable! Ok. as far as water, I think it kind of becomes intuitive at a point so that you find your own way to work with the paints. I know Misty would use really thick paints and build up these gorgeous layers but for me it didn't really come out the same way, so I take what works for me from some of my other teachers but leave the rest. I think the more you paint you will find your way. Now when I apply the paints there always is a little water on the brush but I don't add water to the actual paint in the palette. Sometimes I use glazing with just watering down the paints and other times I mix with the retarder. Try some samples of that to see the difference. For instance when I create a really dark intense underpainting like I did in the Ledger Girl video, I just used a little bit of water to create the veiling(glazing adding white). When I tried to use the retarder it just got slippery and didn't work well. As far as the lips, it is really important to keep in mind all the planes of the lips, especially the plane underneath the lower lip. That will help give it dimension. So Louise lets continue this in the Facebook group! I am also going to have a link on the Facebook page of this conversation.

Rosemary and Co Brushes

Hello Kate,

Thank you so much for introducing me to the Rosemary and Co. brushes. I adore the "spring" in the fibres and how well they are holding their shape. I am learning so much from this course. Thank you for your generous offering.

You are welcome!

I learned about those brushes from one of my teachers, Gillian Cox...thank you...xo


I started this class late last year and then got side-tracked. I am ready to dive back in but have lost the password for the videos. Could you please mail this to me again.


Hello, Kate,

I am having trouble printing your PDF's that are included in the Fractured Portraits e-course.

What am I missing?

Did you save them to your hard drive

I went the the class and used the same password as the videos to open. Did you do that? They all came up so you have the option to save them or print them out. Let me know if this will start working for you

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