Chantel Barber

Chantel Barber: Painting From Photos - Expressive & Emotional


Video Length: 5 Hours 30 Minutes
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What’s exciting about this course:

  • Never view acrylic portrait painting the same way again
  • Discover how to paint loose, expressive effects with acrylic paints
  • How to turn acrylic’s fast drying time into an advantage 
  • Paint with intent and experience true liberation
  • Strange everyday tools to enhance your painting
  • Add movement, color, brushwork, light, and story into your paintings
  • Dos and don’ts of painting from a photo reference
  • How to make the right choice when editing (and avoid permanent mistakes)
  • Energize your brushstrokes
  • Achieve lost and found edges, even with acrylics
  • Important mindset-shifting advice on interpretation
  • The little-known reason you shouldn’t ignore Photoshop
  • Surefire ways to engage your viewers through rhythm & movement
  • How to stay flexible as your composition takes shape
  • PLUS: An enlightening interview with Chantel
  • And much, much more!


You’re about to push the boundaries of portrait storytelling by gaining a deep understanding of the principles of acrylic painting… 

Even if you work mainly with oils, Chantel’s unique style and approach to acrylics will have a significant impact on your artwork.

Chantel will show you how to capture a photo’s life and essence so you can go beyond copying photos into the realm of creating original artwork from them.

You’ll learn how to paint engaging and inspiring portraits that are full of meaning, substance, and expression…

Portraits that entice the viewers’ senses — drawing them in visually through masterful application of bold strokes and strong colors.

After this course, you may not look at acrylic portrait painting the same way again...

Chantel’s signature blend of techniques is the result of three long decades of practice

It’s a rare combination that impresses both art collectors and master painters!

This is the fine art of acrylic portrait painting. 

You’re going to get paradigm-shifting painting insights you can’t get anywhere else…

Taught by none other than Chantel Barber herself — one of the best acrylic painters of our generation!

No matter where you are in your painting journey, Chantel’s distinctive approach will help you transform into a much stronger artist.

Chantel is a very ambitious woman … extremely ambitious...

Before she fell in love with acrylics in 1990, Chantel had been drawing people using oils since she was 11 years old...

She knew her passion was for creating portraits using an impressionistic and loose style, and that was best suited to oil paints...

But one day she got curious: “Why can’t I use acrylics to achieve the same outcome as oils?”

She was determined to find the answer, but struggled to find anyone who could teach her.

On top of that, the artists she knew said acrylic was best used for abstract work and bold graphics — NOT portraiture.

She knew the two mediums were completely different...

But like a true artist, she decided to break all the rules.

She spent the next 30 years exploring and honing her acrylic techniques, doing things almost no other artist could replicate without her personal guidance.

Which is why Chantel is the perfect teacher to help strengthen your art techniques — even if acrylic is not your primary medium.

She’ll reveal how you can bridge the gap between oil and acrylic techniques to create something exceptionally unique to you.


Chapter Breakdown 

01- Introduction

02- Materials & Tools

03- Tips for Working with Photos

04- Block In

05- Mixing Color

06- Develop the Painting

07- Create Special Effects

08- Add Details

09- Push & Pull

10- Fresh Eyes & Finishing Flourishes


Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
Hope B

The best video I have ever seen on painting in the acrylic medium. Chantel Barber is, without a doubt, the authority on acrylic portrait painting. I have never seen any other artist achieve expressive, emotion filled, painterly portraits in acrylic like Chantel does. This video is filled with tips and many of the interesting techniques she uses to achieve her stunning portraits. This is so much more than a "painting from photos" video; Title does not seem appropriate to content, so don't let that deter you. This is an excellent video on expressive acrylic portrait painting from beginning to end!

Great instruction for Impressionist Acrylic Painting

An extremely well done video. Chantal provides detailed and interesting instruction on exactly how she achieves her wonderful impressionist portraits. The split screen between the painting, her palette and the reference photo is excellent, allowing you to see how she mixes her colors and uses her reference. I work mostly in oil but began playing with acrylics recently. All the tips she gave about type of palette, wrapping brushes in damp paper towel and never dipping a brush in water while painting were invaluable. I already use blue shop towels, but I immediately ordered the Masterson StaWet palette. What a difference those things made! All the information about manipulating photo references on the computer, how acrylic behaves value wise and why were also invaluable. This video has changed my entire approach to working with acrylic, making it much more fun and much less of a struggle. And I think I can apply the things I learned to my oil painting too. Highly recommended to anyone painting in acrylic, or even oil, who wants to move in a more expressive and impressionist direction.

Roberta Pledge
Blown away!

Chantel takes acrylic portrait painting to a new level by leading you from the very beginning process of selecting your subject matter, editing it to exactly what you want to portray it, and then the applying and rubbing off paint to create the perfect values and skin tones. She leads you away from copying a photograph, into creating a piece of art that you will treasure. Her constant reminders to check your work often, standing back to look at it with fresh eyes will help you long past taking this course. She is an inspiring teacher as well as an extremely talented artist! I will definitely watch this video many times over and it was a great investment as I move forward in my acrylic portrait painting.

Johanne Mangi

I haven't finished viewing the video yet but I can tell you this: Chantel is mesmerizing right from the start! She makes me want to paint with Acrylics! Everyone has their own ways of doing things and I'm always on the search to explore materials, mediums and concepts. I think she's opened a whole new world to me and she will for you!

John Patrick Weiss
Great exploration of acrylic painting

An oil painter, I've never explored acrylics. I'm drawn to the faster drying time of acrylics, and not having to use solvents as I do now with oils. Chantel's video thoroughly examines acrylic painting, and she includes many fascinating mark making tips. Lots of other painting wisdom whether you paint in oils, acrylics, or watercolor. Great video.