Robert Liberace December Workshop

I was fortunate enough to attend a  three-day portrait workshop taught by Robert Liberace in early December 2007. 

I was surprised by a number of things, number one there were only a few of us from Robert’s regular Friday classes and there were a tremendous number of folks who’d travelled from out of town to attend.  Once lady flew in from Cleveland and another came in from Boston I wasn’t 100% certain where everyone else was from…but I think there were a few folks from the Zoll Studio in Baltimore there.


One of my minor rants about folks taking oil painting classes was aired during the workshop. Please, PLEASE do not attend an oil painting workshop (which covers three days and has 25 students) and complain non-stop about the fumes. If you are allergic to solvent do NOT assume that you can be even remotely accommodated.  Think about it, all of those folks painting are going to generate fumes.  Someone was thoughtless enough to show up with real turpentine versus odorless solvent which did make things much worse.

Bottom line showing up at an oil painting class and complaining about fumes is like showing up at a child’s musical recital and complaining that there are sour notes…it’s part of the experience.  I have asthma and sometimes things are tough for me, but I cover my solvent and seal it up when I leave the room.  If it gets overwhelming I leave since I am the one with the medical condition.  ok rant over….

The models we used were great, both had very interesting features but to me, the female model had this compelling “Helga” demeanor.  Everyone wanted to paint her  so I was in good company.  We drew for spots, and I was in the middle so I stayed where I was and I lucky enough to paint the female model.


Robert Liberace Demo

Rob working on his first demo-study

Robert Liberace Study

Rob’s next two demos, a color/tempeture study and one of his more traditional studies.

I think I did fairly well during this  workshop. We had to do numerous warm up sketches and quick 5-minute paintings and well as some longer poses (20-30 minutes) which focused on color and temperature studies vice accurate rendering.   

My painting second day

 My painting, towards the end of the second day 

For the 2-day pose they placed the female model on a sofa, in the with a dark blue background. It really made her flesh tones pop.  Initially I painted her dress the color it was, but it caused me some problems so I switched it to a yellow green at least for the first part of the painting. 

I still need to do some work on her chest area, to accurately reflect the shadows and work more on her hairline (lower it a tad).  I did like how her flesh (lights, mid tones and shadows) worked. I would need to go back and adjust some of the highlights and shaping of the dress but overall I liked this painting.

My Final Workshop Painting

My painting, on the final day of the workshop

Close up of the final painting

A closeup of the model’s face

Of course, no matter how much I liked my painting and I usually do not like what I produce in a workshop or a class room since I am usually learning a new way of doing things and it shows in the work. 

Of course, I love what Rob did for his final painting and it was gorgeous!

Final Demo by Robert Liberace

Rob’s Final Demo for the workshop

3 responses to “Robert Liberace December Workshop

  1. Nice work….

  2. Thank you.

  3. damn nice. how cool it must have been to be in the workshop with him. definitely a master artist.

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