My Robert Liberace Collection (part 1)

Crucifix Study by Robert Liberace

Crucifix Study by Robert Liberace


During my previous post, I discussed artist Robert Liberace’s work and why I study with him.

I am a great admirer of Rob’s work, he is a deeply committed artist who has won national awards and is well regarded by other artist.

Most of the paintings and drawings I own of his were created in class as a demo.  First it’s pretty exciting owning something you watched the artist create, but mainly they can provide, upon study, a firm example of the lessons Rob is trying to teach us.

Here are a few of Robert’s that works I am fortunate enough to own.  I have serveral additional works that I need a ladder to reach (too high up on the wall to safely reach, or they are in storage).  I should have them all photographed and loaded by this weekend.


Head Study Close Up

Head Study Close Up

The first drawing was a study created by Rob while working on a 14 foot tall crucifix which now hangs at a catholic church in Potomac Maryland.

Head Study Close Up is a simply a  the detailed photo of one of  the head studies.   I believe Rob used prepared paper with pencil and chalk for this study.  In the upper head study there is a small amount of sanguine color on the lips.  The highlights were probably placed with white chalk or pastel.  Rob also occasionally employs a different method to create the lights but it looks like he used chalk for this one.

This next painting is one of my favorites.  Rob painted this in class for a demo.  It was created during two separate class sessions.

Female Figure Study by Robert Liberace

Untitled Figure Study by Robert Liberace

During the first session, he painted the model on a gray/blue background (lamp black mixed with titanium white) and he used raw umber mixed with very little white to paint the body and face.  For the second class section he applied color but only to the face of the model.

What is remarkable in this painting was how much modeling he was able to accomplish using only raw umber and the small judicious amounts of white paint.

There is no color used from the neck down, the flesh tones were created by controlling the thickness of the paint and the optical mixing of colors created when the umber is view over the blue/gray background.

I will try to take a better shot of this in natural light so you can get a better sense of how realistic the flesh tones were in the grisaille layer.

Male Torso Demo

Male Torso Demo

This next painting is a fairly simply profile of a male torso.  The first photograph shows the painting underway.  I think you can get a good sense of how Rob starts modeling the form.  In this photograph you can see that he’s sketched in the figure and once he was satisfied with it, started applying a mid tone color.

Untitled, Male Torso Study

Untitled, Male Torso Study

    Here is the finished study.  Isn’t it beautiful?  Robert finished this in one session and I think it’s one of the most gorgeous arms I’ve ever seen painted.

As Rob is painting, he explains what is happening under the skin, he will call out the muscles and tendons, if there is a slight protrusion he will explain to the class what (literally) lies beneath the surface so that you can make sense of what the skin is doing and perhaps why the light is reflecting or the shadows are moving a certain way.

The color of the painting is spot on in the photo on the left, it seemed to wash  out just a bit for the close up.

Arm Close Up
Arm Close Up


Here is a close up of the arm.  I think it’s extraordinary and I hope these photos do the painting justice.

I will continue this blog in another post, or probably amend this one tomorrow since it is getting late and I have to work tomorrow.  Hope this whets you appetites for the remained of the drawings and the wonderful silver point I own.


2 responses to “My Robert Liberace Collection (part 1)

  1. Hey there! I ve notice that you ve been taking many classes from robert liberace and I was wondering where can I buy those tone paper. Or the one that he uses.

    • Hello,
      Robert uses Twinrocker paper that he’s treated for the verithin pencils. If you call Twinrocker and ask them about which papers he uses, they should give you the colors and paper weights.

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