Last Post (I swear) on Liberace’s Velázquez to Sorolla Workshop, Days 4 & 5

Liberace’s demo from Day 5 on painting in the style of Sorolla. Shown here, the initial lay in and block in of the face.

Some of my best pictures from Rob Liberace’s recent Velázquez to Sorolla Workshop come from Days 4 & 5. So you are in for a real treat here! Sorolla often painted his subjects outside from direct observation, following the effect of light on his models as they enjoyed a day at the beach or a picnic in the grass. Rob’s palette below really showcases those atmospheric qualities.

  • Thalo Blue and Green
  • Cad Yellow, Orange, Red and Rose
  • Ultramarine Violet
  • Viridian
  • Lead White
  • Umber
  • Stand Medium (Linseed oil)
Liberace’s Sorolla style demo from Day 5 in an almost finished state.
Detail of Liberace’s Sorolla style demo from Day 5.

Here are the notes I took during Days 4 & 5:

  • Lay down your colors so they have good body and mass to them.
  • Whites are warm, warmed by the sun.
  • Shadows cool.
  • Always have a definite end to your light.
  • Cast shadows will not receive a whole lot of reflections.
  • Quick & strong strokes–don’t blend. You will only “muddy” it.
  • “Blast in” lights.
  • Blue in core shadows, gold in reflected light (in shadows) are a classic Sorolla treatment. Use White + Orange for gold.
  • Realist painting requires “hump, ridge, terminator, core”.
  • Make sure your highlights are applied with small brushes if you are working on small scale.
  • You should be able to cut (theoretically speaking) pure color out of a Sorolla painting. He did not use much blending.
  • Cad Red, Cad Yellow, touch of Cad Rose + White is the recipe for the Sorolla flesh tone.
  • Masses in big planes first and then breaks up that base color with light & shadow.
  • “Each time the model poses pick one area to bring to a full alla prima finish. Then move on to another area when he/she poses again.”
My Sorolla inspired painting. Notice the doodle in the corner-its an original Liberace!

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