"Teapots" by Jeffrey T. Larson, who is on the faculty of the 2nd Annual Realism Live virtual art conference, November 2021

Dear Artist,

If we were alive 400 years ago and wanted to become serious artists, we would apply to apprentice under a master artist. We would spend the first couple of years doing “grunt work” like preparing canvas, cleaning the studio, and grinding paint. We would be taught to draw, usually by drawing plaster casts, and often drawing along when the artist had a model.

Then, after three or four years, we would be taught to paint. It was not unusual for an artist to apprentice for seven to 10 years. Once their skills were solid enough, the apprentices were painting on behalf of the master artist. The master, after making the preliminary sketch, would have it transferred to the larger-size canvas (then called the cartoon) so the underpainting could be laid out.

For instance, Raphael, the great master, had his apprentices painting in big shapes in underpaintings, staying inside the lines in the cartoons, and later doing drapery, backgrounds, and fabrics. The master would then come in and paint the hands and faces.

It was a great system. Apprentices could show their ability on the canvas of a great master before going out on their own.

A Lost Art

This system was carried on for over 400 years, but it was almost lost in the early 1900s as traditional painting took a back seat in popularity to modern and abstract works. In fact, artists rebelled over the traditional system of “things must be done this way,” and their rebellion brought about Impressionism and looser forms of painting.

The most famous artists in the world had ateliers, an artist’s studio, workroom, or classroom, where they would teach their students or apprentices. Today, some pioneers have brought these more traditional methods back after most ateliers and art schools closed through the years of changing art styles.

Good News and Bad News

There’s good and bad news with some ateliers. Each has its own style and approach to teaching and painting. The idea is that students don’t get confused with too many approaches, that they graduate fully trained in a particular style or approach, and then experiment on their own after graduation.

Last year during our Realism Live online conference, one participant, who had recently graduated from an art program, told me, “We never knew there were other ways to approach things. Realism Live was a huge eye-opener and filled in some blanks for me that I needed to understand.”

There’s No ONE Right Way

The reality is there are many different approaches to art. At an atelier, art students may get very limited exposure to more than one approach.

Once they graduate, artists are on their own to find their own voice and signature style in their work. This is often difficult for artists because they’re not yet sure of what they didn’t learn in an art program.

From Need Comes Opportunity

That is exactly why I started the Figurative Art Convention & Expo (FACE), which we did for four consecutive years until the world health crisis prevented in-person events.

As a replacement for FACE, we created a global virtual event, Realism Live, where growing artists could learn from many different master artists remotely over the course of several days.

We designed this event with specific goals:

  1. Teach various styles and approaches to academic realism so attendees can see how some of today’s best artists approach their art
  2. Teach a wide range of realism … from tight academic approaches to looser impressionistic drawing and painting
  3. Offer a wide variety of subjects, not just portraits and figures. At Realism Live, we include still life, landscape, and architecture instruction and demonstrations. This gives Realism Live attendees a much wider exposure in order to advance their skills and find the subjects they’re passionate about
  4. Offer a wide variety of mediums, so artists can discover how different subjects are created in oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic, and other mediums

The Ultimate Goal

Our ultimate goal with Realism Live is to offer every artist, whether they’ve received formal art training or not, an amazing experience to grow their art through a well-rounded, atelier-style art training event that is led by some of today’s most successful artists, and carried out over just three or four days.

Further, we wanted to offer something students will rarely experience in an art school or program … the chance to watch replays of the entire event so they can review the instruction and demonstrations and put their new knowledge and skills into practice immediately.

FACE Will Return!

We will resume the very popular Figurative Art Convention & Expo (FACE) as soon as possible.

But we’ve heard loud and clear from many of you — you want us to continue our virtual events, such as Realism Live, in addition to the in-person conventions for many different reasons:

You can attend Realism Live (or any of our virtual events) from your own home or studio without having to travel for the event. This not only saves you thousands of dollars, many of you have told us you can’t travel to attend live events for various reasons — schedule restrictions, life situations, cost, etc.

You Belong Here!

I’d like to personally invite you to attend Realism Live.

This incredible event is scheduled for November 11-13, 2021 — three action-packed days of learning, interacting with the instructors and other attendees, building a bigger support network for yourself, and discovering new and different methods, tools, techniques, and products that will help you become the absolute best artist you WANT to be!

In addition to the three-day main event, we offer an optional “Beginner and Refresher Day*” on November 10, 2021 — the day before the full event begins. In this one-day atelier-style virtual environment, you’ll have the chance to learn or refresh the basics — drawing, cast drawing, figure, still life, landscape, and painting. Regardless of your current skill level, this day will help you prepare for the main event! (*There is a separate registration price for Beginner and Refresher Day.)

Why You Should Register Now

Even though the event isn’t until November, the best time to register is now. As we get closer to the event, the current discounted prices will no longer be available.

Faculty Lineup

Take a look at the faculty we have on board so far. Check back often because we’re adding new faculty weekly!

Reserve your space now so you don’t miss one moment of Realism Live!

Register Now

how to paint Realism Live faculty

how to paint Realism Live faculty


Realism Live is like the ultimate atelier! You get many different viewpoints and processes rather than just one … this gives you the opportunity to become a more well-rounded artist and will help you advance faster and better than you would if you continue to try on your own.

Beginner and Refresher Day + The Main Event is a condensed, structured atelier-style learning experience you will never forget.

Even better, you’ll have access to the replays of the entire event so you can watch as many times as you want before moving on.

Register now to get the lowest price before the event begins!

Find out all the details and register at RealismLive.com or, if you prefer, register by phone at 561.655.8778.