Painting the Figure from a Live Model Workshop

Note: Refunds minus the credit card transaction fee are available up to four weeks before the beginning of the workshop. After that, the student must find a replacement and negotiate payment with the replacement. If you need to cancel, contact us. The team may be able to help find a replacement. Please see the LAA Cancellation and Refund Policy.

Painting the figure from a live model

June 24-27, 2024 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Instructor: Robin Damore​
This is a four-day intensive workshop

2810 Wilderness Place, Suite B, Boulder, CO 80301

Member $580
​Non-member $600

In this workshop, students will paint a figure from life over the course of four days, and discuss choices for composition, color harmony, lighting, pacing, and bringing the painting to a solid level of resolve. Robin’s expertise in capturing a likeness will be revealed using her methods which are easy to understand and execute. 

Robin will discuss what she believes to be the key elements of creating a great portrait. She will also break down the formal process of painting a head into the most basic parts, drawing, value, and color. As she demonstrates daily, she will show her techniques and discuss key principles associated with these three areas. As students paint, Robin will critique and assist on an individual basis to help each student complete the workshop as a better portrait painter.

Robin Damore

I’ve been a professional artist with my own studio/gallery for over 22 years even though I’ve been shooting photographs for well over 30 years. But my life hasn’t always been about painting, drawing, and photography. For the previous 18 years, I helped build and then become part owner of an advertising agency. It was satisfying work at some level and I loved the people I worked with, but there was always this creative part of my soul that wanted to come out. Like most of us, I was scared to risk what I had for a chance at what I really wanted to do with my life until two, relatively coincidental opportunities, presented themselves to me.

The first was a chance to sell my interest in the business. The second was to take my budding drawing skills and apply them to oil portrait painting under the guidance of a Russian master painter, Leonid Gervits. I held my nose, jumped into the deep end of the pool, found out I could swim well enough not to drown, and I’ve never looked back.

So what have I learned – what have I done?

I’ve learned that art is scary, rewarding, an adventure, and always a journey to some other new level of creativity. I’ve photographed weddings in vineyards, on Hawaiian beaches, and in ancient churches in Italy. I’ve documented charity golf tournaments for professional golfer Ben Crane. I’ve done pencil portraits of kids, parents, grandparents, you name it and most importantly upwards of a hundred oil portraits. And I’ve been teaching annual workshops on oil portrait painting for the last 15 years. Finally, I’ve learned to print large scale photographs on my studio printer and then have them framed in the frame shop that I created.

Wow! When I see it in print, it’s really been almost 25 years of reaching out to learn and stretch my creativity in every new avenue that I could find. It’s been a wild and demanding ride, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

What keeps the artistic juices flowing the most is my portrait work. I live for the challenge of capturing a person’s likeness in the centuries old style of portrait painting, and I am always looking to create the truest representation of the subject and let their personality speak out from the canvas. I will never leave a project until I am proud of the work and the client is happy with their portrait. Delighting them and exceeding the expected is what brings me the most joy and keeps my clients coming back.

My studio in Vancouver, Washington, serves as a showcase for my work, is a working space for both painting and studio photography, is a classroom for private instruction and classes, and is also a framing workshop.

My year often encounters special projects. Keep an eye on the art gallery section of this website for photos and discussion on everything from what this year’s Santa will look like to a recent wedding shoot in Italy or even a step-by-step look at a current painting in progress.

If you are in the Portland/Vancouver area feel free to stop by the studio and see what’s happening for yourself. Visitors are always welcome.  I love to show and tell about my current and completed projects.

Some of ARTISTS work:


  • Sketch pad – 14” X 17” – I use Strathmore drawing medium 400 series.
  • Metric see-through ruler – make sure you can see millimeters.
  • #2 and #6  pencils
  • Vine charcoal
  • Kneaded soft eraser
  • Aquanet hairspray
  • Paper towels/rags
  • Two (2) stretched canvases -16” X 20”

Hold the canvas up to the light. If you see pinholes of light coming through, buy a different brand. I like Masterpiece Vincent – Portrait Smooth –often must be ordered online from Masterpiece.

  • Palette Paper  at least 11” X 14”
  • Baby food jar or small glass jar with lid for painting medium.
  • Silicoil  Brush Cleaning Tank – glass jar with metal spring that will hold Gamsol solvent for thinning paint and cleaning brushes (do not buy the Silicoil solvent).
  • Acrylics – we will use acrylics only to tone the canvas – I use a mix of raw sienna and black.
  • Oil Paint Colors – burnt sienna (Windsor Newton), titanium white, naples yellow extra (Old Holland), ochre yellow, alizarin crimson, ultramarine, burnt umber, raw sienna, raw umber, black ivory, venetian red, indian yellow, cadmium orange and veridian green – I like to use Gamblin, Vasari, Rembrandt, Old Holland

(Do not buy student grade oil colors – they are low on pigment and can be frustrating to use.)

  • Brushes – #2, #4, #6 – I like filberts – you might want a mix with some flat and round– try some synthetic and natural hair brushes. If you are just starting, buy a small collection be sure to include a few small detail brushes and expand as you discover your preferences – each artist has their own set of likes and dislikes.
  • Rosemary Brushes – are wonderful brushes – you can get them online – they are very reasonably priced – I like their Ivories
  • Brush Cleaner – Jack Richeson – Linseed oil studio soap
  • Galkyd or Galkyd lite – Buy the smallest size – it dries out.
  • Gamsol – Or other odorless mineral spirits (NO turpentine).
  • Easels provided in class


Member $580
​Non-member $600

LAA Members: To get the discounted price, use your member code during check-out. The Member Code can be found in your membership confirmation email and any LAA Newsletter.

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