Drawing Basics: How I Judge My Artistic Progress & Learning from Robert Liberace

26 Jul 2011

This is a long pose drawing that made it into my "evaluate" pile.
This is a long pose drawing that made it
into my "evaluate" pile.

Part of the artistic learning process for me is learning how to evaluate my work, not on a piece by piece basis, but collectively.

This summer I am looking at my drawing art works for progress— looking for plateaus in how I execute drawing techniques, looking for consistency in terms of progress when creating line drawings or figure drawings, or areas of struggle that occur when I am in the midst of drawing.

Do you do this, and if so, how? It would be great to know if and how other others approach this kind of evaluation. My process is selecting 10 drawings that I've created in the last 10 months, tacking them on the wall of our basement, and I am just living with them.

As I study them as I go in and out of my house on a day-to-day basis, I start to notice things about their execution.

For example, I find it hard to get the "head" in correct proportion. The head itself is right, but it may be too big or too small for the torso. Pretty basic, I know, but it still is something I struggle with, and that struggle is apparent in even some recent drawings. Yikes.

Robert Liberace's figure painting demonstration, step 1. Robert Liberace's figure painting demonstration, step 2.

Throughout the painting process, Rob Liberace paints quickly with
fluid brushstrokes, creating immediacy in the figure's form.

Summer is also a chance for me to spend time at the Art League in Alexandria and watch Robert Liberace breathe life into his drawings and painting demos. I've included a photo of his work as he demonstrates the under-drawing of a female torso.

The second photo is his grisaille painting made with umber and white, and perhaps a little black. It is the further stage of the first painting, with the flesh tones made with a transparent red oxide mixed with white. In this case the red was an Old Master paint made by Eccoland. He used small brushes and very fluid, loose, even wiggling, brushstrokes, creating an immediacy and vibrancy in the drawing.


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Poppio wrote
on 26 Jul 2011 8:53 PM

I really like the the figure study in paint. It does have an ambience and a sense of air about it. I like the light in it.


on 9 Aug 2011 11:27 AM

The next post features a more complete version of this demo.  It will be out shortly. The following blog features a long time student of his who makes similar use of charcoal.

on 11 Aug 2011 8:18 PM

Oil painting demonstration by Robert Liberace. To listen to Robert Liberace talk during one of his demonstrations