Richard Schmid was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1934. At age 12, he enrolled in the Famous Artists Course. After high school, he attended the American Academy of Art and was able to sell his art on the streets of Chicago.
He was greatly influenced by teacher William H. Mosby. Working with him, Schmid learned to paint from life and the technical methods of the masters from European and American Realism. He kept painting in this style and honing his craft even when this style of work fell somewhat out of fashion. He is dedicated to a painting technique called alla prima, which is a technique where layers of wet paint are applied to previous layers of wet paint.
Richard Schmid has generously shared his knowledge through his books and mentoring of young artists. He once explained, “It’s been like watching a rocket launch. At first the rocket appears to be going slowly, but quickly it picks up speed and takes off. “Over the last few decades, I’m noticing more and more young people appearing on the art scene with amazing skills and hungry for what Alla Prima offers – everything they didn’t learn in art school. Most art schools offer predominately modern art. They discourage anything that might inhibit the spontaneous act, such as prior knowledge of traditional methods.”
Today, his works are still highly sought after by both public and private collections. His paintings are found in museums including The Smithsonian Institution, The Harvard Club, The Frye Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago and The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts to name a few.