Wrapping Up a Great Workshop with Rob Liberace

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Rob with his last demo.

The next day, as everyone else was on day two of their painting, I was just beginning a new painting.  Rob finished his demo and offered anyone in the class his choice easel spot.  I took Rob up on his offer.   My new spot was almost as good as the first one I won. Today was the last day and I had the male model.  I discovered men, especially muscular men, are much harder to paint than women.  I looked around at everyone else’s work and the ones that were really good didn’t look like mine at all.  They had much more dramatic lights and darks.  I decided not to start until I had the grisaille perfect, so I repainted it three times until I felt it was just right.

Beautiful examples of a couple of student’s work.

Rob’s suggestions for the class were:

  1. If you want a feature to pop, use burnt sienna and white with a little cad orange.
  2. Painting the ribcage slumping makes for a more interesting painting.
  3. He said Rembrandt would paint big unrecognizable masses first and then he would follow up with small details to make sense and refine the painting.
  4.  Make ribs a little uneven not so parallel it makes the painting more believable.

Google Art Project

Rob also spiced up the class with a fascinating lecture on the Google Art Project,  which is a website that has high-resolution classic paintings on which you can zoom in close enough to see the actual brush strokes of the old masters’ works and if you pay enough attention, you can really get a feel for how they created their masterpieces step by step.  Rob demonstrated his points on a large screen that was hooked up to his computer.  Rob’s teaching included a large amount of art history, which is particularly interesting because Rob did not go the classic art school route, but rather went to George Washington University on a baseball scholarship.  His interest in art history has been a passion of his that he cultivated after college.

Charlie’s dad serving his home made Italian wedding soup.

Charlie Miano’s father came to class the last day bringing everyone delicious homemade Italian wedding soup for lunch.

Rob is an all-around great teacher, very positive, very intellectual and very informative.  For all the ups and downs of the workshop, I really enjoyed the instruction and how much I was able to learn.

Shelli Alford is an artist and author, who enjoys learning from master oil painters from around the world and reviewing their classes, workshops and demonstrations.

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4 Comments

  1. David Griesing

    April 8, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Two interesting pieces of information: I didnt know about the Google Art Project, which must be a wonderful resource for painters. Also loved the detail about Rembrandt going from mass to detail. Must be why his figures seem to loom out of his paintings; you can almost feel the weight. Hope you’re well! Sounds like you’re having fun.

    • Shelli Alford

      April 8, 2013 at 11:29 am

      I had no idea about Google Art Project either. I am going to try and paint a master work at the Lourve eventually and this will be a great way to practice.

  2. glenda

    April 8, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Thanks for sending the wrap-up from your last session with Rob. Little-by-little I’m learning a lot from what you share. The two student examples are quite beautiful. Wish I could give the artists a hug for capturing this woman’s beauty.

    Since Rob played collegiate baseball, I hope you will pass along an old saying former head baseball coach Cliff Gustafson (UT/Austin) was fond of using. I think it applies to painting – and to life – as much as it does to baseball: “If you’re not put out at second once in awhile, you’re not stealing base often enough.”

    Much luv,
    Aunt G

    • Shelli Alford

      April 8, 2013 at 11:26 am

      LOL. I love it!!! I will definitely pass it along! It makes me feel a lot better about my life too! The great thing about artists are, they are usually not afraid to fail; that’s why they keep progressing and succeeding!
      MWAH, Glenda

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