If you love to paint, you’ve probably thought about painting the people closest to you: your family, friends, grandchildren, or your furbabies.
Creating a beautiful portrait allows you to show your love in a very real way, in an heirloom that will last for generations.
There are emotions we can convey in a portrait painting that a thousand words cannot describe, and I want to teach you to tap into that incredible language.
Portraits tell a story about you and about the person you are painting. It's an incredible gift to be able to paint a picture of your loved ones: your children, your grandchildren and to create a bit of immortality for yourself and others.
And yet, because portraits can be so powerful, they also tend to be the most intimidating to try for many art students.
Many of my students tell me, “I want to paint my grandchildren, but I’m afraid to try.”
And that doubt and fear leads them to miss out on one of the biggest gifts they can give - a portrait that contains all of the love and emotion that they feel.
The Watercolor Advantage
But what many art students don’t realize about portraits is that they’re not actually much different than painting other objects like flowers, eggs, and pears.
Especially if you’re working in watercolors.
I love doing portraits in watercolors because…
They’re nontoxic and easy to clean up (save time and aggravation on setup and cleanup!)...
You don’t need a ventilated studio space, you can paint at your kitchen table (or anywhere)...
They’re less formal than oils, so when you paint children and pets it allows their natural playfulness, personality, and essence to shine through…
When you paint with watercolors, it allows you to use a special “shortcut” that I teach that makes the whole process much easier…
Painting portraits paved the path to my professional success.
Hi, I’m Miriam, founder of The Inspiration Place. I teach passionistas just like you how to reconnect with their creativity!
Whether you're an old pro or haven't picked up a paintbrush since college, I’m here to help you LET GO while learning the techniques to create your own expressive beauty.
You could say my portrait career started out in high school. I drew all of my teachers
But I didn't go to art school. I didn't believe I could make a living as an artist. I took the practical route and worked on Wall Street instead. After 911 happened, I took it as a sign from the universe to do something different with my life and find my life purpose.
My love affair with portraits really kicked off during this time. I painted my son in his Batman costume. And he LOVED it so much, he was so proud of it, that he invited his friends over to look at it.
Those kids told their parents, and pretty soon I was painting my son’s friends...and then more people saw THOSE portraits and asked me for commissions…
And pretty soon I had a business painting portraits!
I began developing and using techniques to shortcut the process and create a safety net so that I could paint confidently.
And when I began teaching these techniques to my students, it allowed them to get past the fear and doubt and truly enjoy painting the ones they love.
So if you want to paint your children and grandchildren...
If you need a new focus or challenge in your life to increase your happiness...
If you're afraid of getting started or that you "Aren't good enough" You'll conquer the emotional side of painting….
If you already paint portraits in another medium but want to try watercolor...
If you enjoy drawing "fantasy" faces but now want to create a painting that looks like a real person...
I’ve created the perfect program to help you start painting gorgeous watercolor portraits confidently, using what I call the “5 P’s of Portrait Painting” (more about that in a second!).
"I hesitated before taking Watercolor Portraits, because I really didn't know how to even begin much less how to set up a palette. I have always wanted to try watercolor. I loved this class, and I was amazed at how my painting turned out. Now, I feel like I can do it!"
~Marcia Snyder from Houston, TX
"I'm very pleased with my portrait"
~ Kathy Edwards from North Boambee Valley, Australia
Here’s what you’ll learn in the Watercolor Portrait Academy:
You'll master all of the 5 P’s to Portrait Painting: Pose, Photograph, Project, Paint, Polish.
How to make faces that look realistic- like real people - without being photographic or stiff or cartoonish
Develop an understanding of how to use vibrant colors to make your portraits come alive and glow with life
Explore soft backgrounds that accentuate the beauty of people
Discover how to loosen up and take risks with your watercolor paintings
Create natural looking hair without fussing around and escape your need for perfectionism ( hint: you don't have to paint every hair in its place!)
Conquer skin tones, proportions and color blending
Capture light and shadow and the essence of your subject
Breathe life into your portraits with the magic of watercolor
Learn how to not "overwork" your painting.. know when to stop.
And most of all, you’ll be able to enjoy the process...without worrying about messing up or not getting it perfect!
"I was unsure about how successful my results would be, but In the Watercolor Portrait Academy Miriam does a fine job of explaining her process. I would recommend this class to a friend. It's a great class."
When you say YES to Watercolor Portrait Academy, you'll get access to :
Over 40 comprehensive step-by-step videos that will walk you through the 5 P's
Module One: Taking the Perfect Photo (the secret is in the pose, our first "P")
Taking photos could be a course all onto itself but to take a photo for a portrait, you need only to learn the essentials without a fancy camera. That's why learning how to POSE your subjects is critical
Learn how to light your subject and the best time of day to take your pictures.
Master the art of directing children to give you a “Mona Lisa Smile” (no more toothy grins)
Explore a repertoire of poses
Arrange more than one child or incorporate their pets
Handle grumpy teenagers with ease
Discover the best clothing to make stunning portraits.
Module 2: Watercolor Paints
Discover the Watercolor Advantage when painting portraits
Deep dive into all the watercolor supplies you need.
Access color mixing guides for a diversity of flesh tones and hair colors.
Module 3: The "Taboo Technique"
(the third "P" is Project and it's truly a game changer)
Discover exactly how to scale your photo (without a projector.)
Learn how to blow up any photo and transfer it to your watercolor paper.
Discover how to fix mistakes
Master freehand drawing techniques that give the drawing the touches it needs...
Learn how to stretch your watercolor paper.
Module 4: Paint &Polish
Peek over my shoulder during a complete watercolor demonstration of a young woman. (additional children are in the bonus section)
Get up close (unlike in an in-person group demo)
Learn how to lay down initial washes.
Add harmonious backgrounds that accentuates the beauty of the people that you're painting.
Conquer skin tones, color blending and color mixing while you capture light and shadow.
Bring it all together and how to add the finishing touches, so you won't overwork your painting and learn when to stop.
Module 5: Paint the Diversity
Paint natural looking hair in all different colors without fussing around
Escape your need for perfectionism. (You do not have to paint every single hair in its place.)
Additional demonstrations so that you can master blond hair, and non-Caucasian skin tones as well as men with beards.
Not only will you get access to everything inside Watercolor Portrait Academy, when you join today I'm including a bonus package worth over $1,000
Paint the Diversity: 10 Additional Bonus Demonstrations
I’ll walk you step-by-step through 10 additional demos of babies, children, and even a man with a beard.
These bonus demonstrations were designed with you in mind, so you have extra help above and beyond what’s already in Watercolor Portrait Academy to help you overcome the biggest challenges for mixing a variety of flesh tones and hair colors as well as how to paint hands.
Discover the best insider advice for going professional and taking commissions. You'll receive a sample contract to model for your own!
Watercolor Painter Society
Access to our wonderful Facebook community of painters where you can post your work, ask your questions, and connect with other creatives! (Truly, you will never meet nicer people in any other Facebook group... absolutely zero drama)
EXCLUSIVE PAY-IN-FULL BONUS: 30 Days of Portraits
Join me for 30 days in my studio while you watch me work on a portrait from start to finish you'll get a complete birds-eye view of my entire commission process including how I fix mistakes and make clients happy.
Don’t even make up your mind right now. We want you to be delighted with all of The Inspiration Place programs. We know that if you watch the videos in the course(s) we offer, you’ll love it. That's why we give you a full 14 days from date of purchase to try the product. To be eligible for the refund, you must send your request to support@theInspirationPlace.net during the refund period.
We hope you agree that this policy gives you enough time to figure out if the class was a good fit for you.
I think you’ll agree, that’s a pretty good offer..
Here's What People Are Saying About Watercolor Portrait Academy:
"After years of searching for a course that resembled the style I desire to paint in, I am excited to find the Inspiration Place.
Before taking this class, I struggled with flesh colors, and I wanted to improve my skills in portrait painting. Now, they have greatly improved. I think the main thing I liked about the class is what I painted!! I took what I learned and applied it to my portraits. I think Miriam covered everything very well and the course was easy to follow."
~Debbie Myers from Oxford, MS
“I really didn’t have a lot experience in watercolor. I was worried that I'd spend this money and wouldn’t enjoy it. I was also kind of afraid of actually painting portraits, because if you paint something, you expect it to look like what you're painting.
With Miriam's tips, it wasn't as scary as I expected it to be. She makes it look like anybody can do it. And if you if you make a little mistake, it's not the end of the world. And I finally have the confidence to paint them. I’ve actually sold a couple of pieces, and that’s been an inspiration for me.”
"I hadn’t done watercolor for almost 30 years. I usually did landscapes and florals, but I didn’t think I had the skill set to do portraits.
Miriam's right. This can be taught.
I discovered that when I painted the little ones, they made a connection with my own soul. And as I painted, it was almost like touching their face with them. Nothing touches the heart more than painting a portrait."
~Jill Spriggs, Salt Lake City, UT
"I must say that you have exceeded my expections for online courses or for that matter the courses I have taken at my local college. You explained how to scale the photograph better than any of my past instructors. While each hit on the topic no one put the package together.
I loved the way you show us how to paint loosely."
~Phyllis Green from Graham, NC
"Even though I have taken a few courses with at The Inspiration Place, this course is stunningly filled with so much info and technique that it is totally top drawer.
I also enjoyed watching Miriam "fix" different areas of the painting. Makes it a much more realistic lesson by a human teacher. And it shows that you can fix a watercolor painting as well. I had never tried to do a portrait prior to this course and I’m very pleased with the outcome!"
~Carole Jurack from Chardon, OH
"The Inspiration Place classes are different than other online classes. Each class is divided in a way that gives you plenty of time to take the full class. Miriam is motivating and fun to watch, and she's the only teacher I've been exposed to that gives permission and encourages you to make your painting your own.
I really feel confident and proud to say I am taking these classes."
"Learning with you has opened up a new world for me. I like YOUR classes the BEST...period. I stopped investing in any others because there is no comparison."
~Georgy Rock from Kirkwood, MO
What students ask before joining...
Q: Is this for me if I've never painted a portrait before? A: Yes, this class is appropriate for you if you've never done it just like Marcia, Barbara and Carole who never painted a portrait before joining this class.
Q: When I complete the course, what will I know how to do? A: By the end of this class you will learn how to capture the likeness of a person.
Q: How many instructional videos are included? A: There are 40 instructional videos plus a few more welcome videos. All instructional videos show me working on different techniques just as if you were standing next to me looking over my shoulder and I was explaining my process to you.
Q: Does my access expire? A: No, you will have access to the course for the lifetime of the site.
Q: Does your class teaching go slowly thru the whole painting? Is your class completely step by step? A: This is literally a step-by-step, mix this color with that one and put it here holding your hand type of training. Nothing is left out. Yet, you'll learn how to apply what you've learned to your own portraits.
Q: Do I have to be at my computer at a specific time? A: Absolutely not. Just like the free series, you can watch the lessons when the time is right for you.
Q: Can I download the videos? A: Absolutely! Save them to your computer. They are yours to keep forever.
Q: If I am not on Facebook, can I still ask questions? A: Absolutely! There is a members only forum in every classroom at the Inspiration Place.
Q: I am hard of hearing. Do you have closed captions? A: Yes! All videos in the Watercolor Portrait Academy classroom have closed captioning. Also, each lesson has a downloadable "tip list" that you can read.
Q: How will I know you processed my registration? A: You will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with your login and your password as well as a welcome email from me, email@example.com
Q: When does class start? A: Your class access begins as soon as you register. Registrations are automatically processed. Check your spam folder for the password/login information. There is sometimes up to a 3 hour delay between the registration and when you receive your login instructions.
Q: How long does the class last? A: You can take as much time as you need. Some content and bonuses are dripped out later so you won't become overwhelmed.
Q: How is content delivered? A: You have a personal login and a password to get access to all classes you signed for at TheInspirationPlace.net
Q: Art supplies can be expensive, what do I really need? A: Start with the basics - cadmium red, cad. yellow, cerulean blue and burnt sienna. You can add to them over time. Quality is better than quantity.
Q: Will I get feedback from you Miriam? A: I answer questions once a week inside the classroom.
Q: Do you offer a payment plan? A: Yes... you can pay in monthly installments.
Q: I haven't taken Watercolor Secrets, do I have to take these classes in a specific order? A: These are independent classes but I strongly recommend those with limited watercolor experience to start with Watercolor Secrets which you can add on at check out time or add later if you feel you'd benefit from more watercolor instruction.
Q: I am on a fixed income and can't pay for it now.. can I pay for it later? A: I completely understand that not everyone can sign up for my classes when they are being offered, as much as I'd like to offer different options for every situation. Hopefully you will be able to join the next time or the next class.
Q: If I have another question that isn’t answered here, whom do I contact? A: I want you to be happy. If you have further questions that have not been addressed here, please emailsupport@theinspirationPlace.net
Q: What if I'm not happy with the classes? A: I am so sure that you'll love this class that I give you a full 14 days to try it out risk free.