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Alla Prima Workshop with Rob Liberace

Painting instructor Rob Liberace taught a workshop last weekend — “The Painterly Sketch: Advanced Alla-Prima Portrait” — that packed the classroom with painters eager to learn from the talented artist. Rob was also kind enough to let us film his demo on the first day!

In the video, Rob talks technique, color, and other tips as he paints model Wayne, who was dressed as a Civil War soldier. Here’s part one of the three-part demo:

(Visit YouTube for part 2 and part 3.)

Kim Stenberg attended the workshop and wrote this blog post detailing her work and recapping the workshop experience, with lots of photographs.

As Kim writes, alla prima is a “daredevil approach” to painting. Also called wet-on-wet or direct painting, alla prima asks artist to lay down color without lots of layering. Painters such as Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent are known for using the technique.

As Rob demonstrates in the video, there is no elaborate underpainting, and color is applied while the first strokes are still wet, requiring some improvisational skill and a good deal of practice. Rob’s demo, edited down into three videos, only took about an hour to complete!

You can click here to see upcoming classes and workshops by Rob, who also occasionally teaches travel workshops like next week’s trip to Scotland. Other demos from Art League School teachers are up on our YouTube channel.

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Did you know: The Art League's Art Camp is the longest running visual arts camp in the area! We've been here for more than 30 years! While sadly we can't find any photos from the '80s (please let us know if you have any lying around), let's take a look back at the last several years of burgeoning kid artists and eight years of fun at Art Camp!

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