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Expressive Soul Portraits

Course skill level: All

Unleash your emotions through expressive portraiture


Join me for 5 amazing weeks of expressive art making! In this days and age, many of us are looking for ways to express the deep feelings and emotions we’ve been experiencing as we are witnessing what is happening in the world right now. Creativity can be a profound vehicle for channeling raw and deep emotional states, which, when unleashed, can provide healing and liberation and a cathartic space for you to ‘be with what is’ for you.


Take time out for you ♥️

On this course, we’ll be exploring expressive acrylics combined with mixed media while creating beautiful emotive portraits that capture parts of our soul! You’ll learn how to work spontaneously, intuitively and loosely with acrylics and learn about expressive embodied mark making which will add drama and dynamism to your paintings.

This is a transformative art course designed to guide you on a journey of self-discovery and emotional expression through the medium of acrylics and mixed media. Whether you are interested in portraiture or emotional expression, this course offers a unique blend of artistic technique and emotional exploration that will open your heart and mind to the depths of your creativity and soul.




Learn how to use colour, mark making, brush stroke techniques, value contrast and composition to create expressive soul portraits that convey raw, emotional messages from within. Unleash your inner artist and explore the depths of your emotions. This course is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to create emotive, dynamic portraits that capture the essence of the soul.

Whether you’re confident with your brushstrokes or feel the need to have someone by your side; I’ll be there to guide you every step of the way. My goal is to help you express your emotions and connect to your intuition as you put brush to canvas. Let me help you to tap into your best creative self through the power of expressive acrylics and mixed media!

I hope you’ll come join me on this beautiful exploration of Expressive Soul Portraits!


Join me for a 5 week deep dive into Expressive Soul Portraits


Expressive Soul Portraits – What’s Included in this Course?


Warming Up: Embodied Expressive Mark Making 

We will begin this course with an embodied mark making session. In order to really let our emotions flow, we need to connect our marks to feelings and sensations that are vibrant in the body. We will use versatile mark making tools like brayers, palette knives, our fingers, etching tools, markers, collage and other tools to channel raw and deep emotions into our paintings. In our first session we will be exploring embodied expressive mark making, so that you really get into how it feels to express yourself through creative marks.






Colour Mixing & Colour Theory

Learn the art of mixing colors to create unique shades and tones that bring your emotional expressions to life. We will explore the nuanced world of color blending, learning how to manipulate color to reflect your inner emotional landscape. Though this course encourages you to work with colours intuitively, it also includes an introduction to colour theory to help guide students on how to harmonise colours best.



Portrait 1.

For our first portrait, “Becoming Wisdom”, our aim will be to create a painting that synthesises raw emotion and vibrant color. I will show you how to create an evocative piece symbolising the journey into self-awareness and artistic expression.

In this lesson I will demonstrate how dramatic use of color can create a backdrop of emotional intensity. I show you how to playfully and intuitively engage with colour so that it will represent the dynamic nature of your innermost thoughts and feelings.

Mark making in this portrait adds a layer of expressive rawness. The scribbles and splatters are not just embellishments; they are the visual echoes of the soul’s language. Each stroke and splash of paint on the canvas embodies the spirit of expressive embodied mark making, which we will delve into throughout this course.



Portrait 2.

In the second portrait of our journey, we will embrace the energy of “Stormy Moods,” a portrait that captures the tumultuous essence of human emotion. In this portrait I show you how you can convey both introspection and complexity that challenges the observer to delve deeper into the canvas’ narrative.

In this portrait the use of random splatters and streaks of black across the canvas resemble raindrops in a downpour, possibly symbolising moments of emotional release or the chaotic beauty found within our most turbulent times. In this high contrast portrait, the stark interplay of light and dark across the subject’s features illuminates the complexity of our emotions, with the shadows and highlights revealing the multifaceted nature of our inner experiences.

We will experiment with the force and direction of our brushstrokes to mirror the swirling energy of a mood, the layering of colors to echo the depth of feeling, and the strategic use of texture to enhance the sensory impact.


Portrait 3

For our third portrait, we’ll delve into the captivating creation of “Free Soul,” a portrait that celebrates the radiance and resilience of the human spirit. This lesson will include a focus on how to paint darker skin tones.

In “Free Soul”, we feature a figure whose presence is as commanding as it is serene, embodying the essence of freedom and the unbounded nature of the soul.

For this lesson, I demonstrate how the background organically emerged after changing it several times. I allow my intuition to guide me to a final combination of colours and composition that represented how I was feeling in the moment.

After going through several transformations, I will show you how this painting resulted in a powerful, confident portrait with playful pink hues and bold turquoise accents in the  background that symbolises the vivacity of a spirit untamed.

Portrait 4

For our fourth portrait, we’ll explore the vibrant creation of “Seen,” a portrait that radiates confidence and grace. This lesson will emphasise painting striking features while integrating floral elements to embody the beauty of the human spirit.

In “Seen,” we highlight a figure whose presence exudes both elegance and strength, capturing the essence of individuality and the beauty of feeling truly seen.

For this lesson, I will demonstrate how to paint the expressive facial features that convey emotion and guide you through the creative process of incorporating floral motifs to accentuate the portrait. The background’s abstract design in purples and pinks creates a dreamy, ethereal atmosphere, reflecting the subject’s radiant presence.

Together, we’ll navigate the transformations that lead to this vivid and soulful portrait, celebrating boldness with a touch of softness.

Portrait 5

For our fifth portrait, we’ll explore the inspiring creation named “I Have So Much To Say” a portrait that captures a serene yet intense expression. This lesson will focus on blending vibrant hues and geometric motifs to convey emotion and depth in portraiture.

In this lesson, we portray a figure whose eyes closed, reflect introspection and calmness, embodying the essence of inner peace and thoughtful reflection.

For this lesson, I’ll guide you in using bold and contrasting colors to emphasize the facial features and explore abstract elements that blend into the portrait, creating a harmonious and unique composition.

We’ll explore the creative journey of incorporating expressive brushwork and vibrant colors to bring this portrait to life. With abstract accents and harmonious compositions, “I Have So Much To Say” celebrates a peaceful spirit and captures the serenity of introspection.



Format of the Course

  • This course begins on May 20th 2024 and will run over 5 weeks and content will be released on a weekly basis.
  • The lessons on this course take on a little bit of a different format than some of my other courses due to its intuitive nature. In order for me to create expressive, intuitive portraits I need to stay closely connected to my inner experiences and respond to what I’m feeling as I go which makes explaining very step in the moment of creation more challenging. So all the painting parts on this course have been explained in retrospect with voice overs.
  • All content is pre-recorded and downloadable.
  • All students have access to a private Facebook group where they can share their art and hang out with other students on the course.
  • All content is presented in English.
  • Traceables, Photo References and Supporting PDFs are included.






How to alter reference photos.

Included on this course: Learn how to enhance your painting practice by transforming your reference photos. I will show you how to use digital tools, like the dry brush filter in Photoshop or the posterize function in mobile apps, to better perceive values. This technique simplifies complex images, highlights contrasts, and guides your painting with ease and precision.


In Depth Guided Meditation.

Included on this course: A guided meditation to get connected to your inner landscape. In this session, we’ll embark on a guided meditation to connect you with the vibrant energy within your body, mind, and soul. This practice aims to enhance emotional awareness and foster authentic artistic expression. By focusing on your inner energy, you’ll deepen your emotional connection and creativity, allowing these to naturally flow into your painting. This immersive experience will empower you to paint from a place of truth, capturing your unique emotional landscape on canvas.



Introduction to brush strokes and  brush work.

Included on this course: Learn to use your brush strokes to make impact. In this session, we’ll explore the foundational techniques of brush strokes to understand their impact on expression. We’ll look at different types of strokes, from delicate lines to bold movements, and how they add depth to your artwork. By understanding their role in creating texture and form, you’ll learn to choose the right brushwork to complement your artistic voice and vision.



Who is your teacher?

Hi! I am Tam (also known as willowing), I’m a mixed media artist, teacher and author. I love making art and I love even more helping people to create self-connecting and life-enriching art works that support creative and personal growth. I’ve been teaching since 2008 and it’s been my absolute honour and joy to have taught over 40k students over the years!

I’m super excited about this new class and can’t wait to see what kinds of beautiful expressive portraits you’ll create!



Below are most of the supplies I use on this course. You do not need to buy these exact supplies, please work with what you already have available first, and perhaps decide on investing in the below supplies once you’ve seen them in action.

  • I am working on hotpressed watercolour paper, but as the technique of this style incorporates acrylics as some of the first steps a lot, you could also work on bristle board or mixed media paper, however I have little experience with these types of papers so I still recommend working on strong watercolour paper. You’ll need about 5-8 Sheets of hotpressed watercolour paper – 140lbs (I use Saunders and Waterford, but any good brand will do, other good brands are: Fabriano, Daler-Rowney, Canson).It’s a good idea to buy ‘blocks’ of watercolour paper where the pages are ‘stuck’ together at the edges. This will avoid warping.
  • Heavy Body Acrylic Paints in a variety of colours. My favourite brands are: Liquitex, Golden, Daler-Rowney, Amsterdam, however student grade starter packs will also be fine or simply work with the acrylics you already have handy.  (In depth list of colours will be provided upon sign up to the course).
  • A variety of acrylics paint brushes in small, medium and large sizes.
  • A graphite pencil for drawing and an eraser.
  • An etching tool like an old knitting needle or a bamboo skewer.
  • Marking making tools like bubble wrap/ cotton wool for ‘splatting’ or catalyst wedges.
  • A rubber brayer (I use speedball).
  • A metal or plastic palette knife.
  • Collage papers like old book pages and/or music scores.
  • Stabilo All Pencil in black.
  • I also used some water soluble crayons by Caran D’ache (Neocolor II) for mark making and for some skin tones.
  • Black and White acrylic pens by Posca, Sharpie or Artistro.
More in depth supply lists will be provided each week upon joining the course. 

Further Information (Click on titles to find out more)

Who is this course for? Is it suitable for beginners?

Who is this course for? Is it suitable for beginners? 

This course welcomes artists of all levels, from novice to seasoned painters. It’s designed to be accessible, with comprehensive step-by-step instructions that guide you from sketch to finished piece. However, the journey through this art class is often intuitive and non-linear, which may be a bit more challenging for those new to drawing or painting with acrylics.

On this course; Tam demonstrates each step, from initial drawing to the painting, she also provides traceable files and photo references, yet a portion of the learning involves tapping into your intuition—a process that can be challenging if you’re just beginning to explore your artistic voice. While technical elements are thoroughly explained, students are also encouraged to lean into their ‘felt sense’ and harness their intuition to guide their artistic choices.

If you are just starting your creative journey; this course provides a wealth of supportive resources including traceables, photo references, detailed PDF guides, and extensive video tutorials to enrich your learning experience, however you may find the ‘intuitive’ element of this course a little more challenging. You will certainly gain a wealth of knowledge, and while there may be moments that challenge you, they are designed to foster your growth as an artist. Be prepared to embrace both the structured and the spontaneous aspects of creating art that this course thoughtfully balances.

If you are a beginner artist, please be aware of the information above before deciding to join. ♥️

Terms & Policies

Terms & Policies

  • Monthly payment plans and plans for other packages are available!  Please email us on [email protected] to discuss bespoke payment plans
  • All other currency listings are approximate and depend entirely on the daily exchange rate, final sales are in GBP. Check for currency conversions.
  • Refund Policy: Before the start of the course you can request a refund for the course fee minus a small admin fee.  No refund can be given after the course has started.
  • Other payment forms: You can pay through paypal or STRIPE (credit card) on this site, if neither of these two options suit you, we can also offer an international bank transfer. If you need to pay through this option, please email us on [email protected]. Please note: you can pay through paypal with a credit card even if you don’t have a paypal account
  • When you buy any of Willowing Arts LTD products you agree to their Terms & Conditions which can be read here.
  • Please note: if you are based in Europe, VAT MOSS local tax will be included in the final price.

What You'll Need to Join the Course

What You’ll Need to Join the Course

  • You will need a high speed internet connection to be able to download and watch the videos.
  • You will need to have a basic understanding of IT, like reading emails and navigating sites like Facebook &
  • Optionally a Facebook account if you want to connect with the community and share your artwork (this is optional though).
  • If you are planning to download the videos you will need to need approximately 15GB storage available depending on which version you choose to download.
  • Art Supplies as mentioned above.
  • Approx 3-5 hours per week for ‘yay arty time’ if you want to do the lessons weekly (but this is optional, you do not need to do the lessons weekly).

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do you offer payment plans? Yes we do! Pls email us on [email protected] so my team can get you set up/ help you. ❤️ Pls allow 24 hrs or so for us to reply. We are based in the UK – GMT time. Thanks for your patience and understanding! xxxx 🌈🌟🌈
  2. Who do I contact for technical support or queries? My wonderful team member Maddie on [email protected].
  3. Are sessions live or pre-recorded? All lessons are pre-recorded and can be watched in your own time.
  4. How long is access to the course for? You have lifelong access for as long as Willowing Arts is in business.
  5. Can I download all the videos? Yes, instructions on how to download will be listed on the class thread.
  6. Do you provide closed captions? We can help point you to several plugins for your browser that provide closed captions.

Learn to create expressive, emotive and powerful portraits
that capture the depth of your vibrant soul!

I can’t wait to spend 5 wonderful weeks painting with you!

Join us now by clicking ‘add to basket’!

See you there! ♥️♥️♥️

Much love, Tam 💕


SKU: expressive-soul-portraits Categories: , , Tag:
  • Expressive Soul Portraits – Art classes with Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts!
  • Traceables & Photo references are included
  • All class content is downloadable
  • Type of course: live during May 2024 then reverts to a self study course
  • Video + PDF content
  • Traceable files included
  • Life Long Access
  • Access to a Private Facebook Group



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