Every time I come to California it is like coming home. This Midwest boy enjoys the Californians even if they do come from as far away as Washington, Oregon, Canada and of course California for this workshop. It is just an extra fun time of exuberant art, life as an artist should be and sunny weather. Urig demonstrating self-portraiture based on observation and study
We packed so many new concepts into this workshop and came away with exceptional art and understanding of the human features of the face. It will impact a lifetime of painting. It is a process I personally created to help artist’s conceive three dimensionally what is important about the face. It came out of years of personal frustration with what I consider bad teaching of the human head. I believe my new approach is clearer and easier to understand.
As an instructor I love Carole’s written testimony: Daryl makes art seem possible & attainable. For the fun of it I have included some video testimonials so you can see for yourself. Enjoy.
Urig Self-portrait, 9x 12 inches, oil on panel
Adding Muscle to Bone
Sharon Painting self Portrait
Patti Painting self Portrait
Beauty – the adjustment of all parts proportionately so that one cannot add or subtract or change without impairing the harmony of the whole. – Leon Battista Alberti
I enjoy immensely the workshops I teach, the enthusiasm of the artists, the new excitement they gain from the new things they have learned and of course meeting the artists.
It hard to put into words or picture what the Self-Portrait and Understanding the Human face workshop is about in its entirety. And if I was able to do this, there may be no reason for you to take one of my workshops, unless you where just wanting some face time and some hands on coaching from an experienced instructor.
There are many exercises I take you through to gain very important knowledge along with practical instruction in a way designed to help artist remember information.
So below in part, is a YouTube Video I have put together for you called: A Short Demo for Urig’s Self-Portraiture Workshop. Please enjoy. I hope to see you at one of my workshops on my National Tour.
We have all heard the saying, Get Out of the Box. I am even calling one of my workshops using painting knives (pallet knives) with this title. So when thinking on a self portrait to paint I thought this would be a good idea. I shot a video to look at different angles, then shot a few photos to catch the aspect I was looking for.
This was the unusual part for me. After shooting the images, my first thought was a little morbid, as it appears, a head, cut off, in a box. But the more I looked at the image I knew it conveyed something much deeper to me personally. The feeling of entrapment. Like I had been caged away here in Cincinnati Ohio, where I am now writing this blog post. It was then like a big bang, that I was strongly confirmed about how important getting out and seeing what is going on in our country with the artist segment. And sharing my vision of painting, but more importantly my love and passion for painting.
Funny, I painted it in Okatie South Carolina, an area just before Hilton Head Island, SC, where I was doing one of my workshops for my National Tour.
I by no means am trying to elevate my position to these other great painters. But what I would like to show by a few examples of Picasso’s and Rembrandt’s work is that there is much variety in the way each painter represents there face in each new work. In style, medium, lighting, age and more. Obviously there is no one way to do a self portrait and those who have tried to limit art by there own constrained understanding have always irritated myself and other painters.
Faces of Rembrandt
Faces of Picasso
Faces of Urig
Some of what I have gained through this time tested art of the Old Masters is a deeper understanding of myself and the link it plays in understanding others around me. There is nothing easy about painting. I am sorry some try to think that it is. It is in my opinion something very hard, sometimes even difficult. We can be lifetime students if we wish, always feeling like the infant with so much more to learn.
One young artist in the 5th grade told me that artists are smart, he remembers Leonardo as being an inventor, even possibly for the vision for the first helicopter and tank. Nothing easy here.
To me self portraiture is about learning and trying to grasp something more. Each time we come back to it we learn something new and it comes out a little different with each exploration.
We as Artist take the complex and try to simplify it down to its basic visual elements, and add heart and soul and personal expression and out comes ART.
Working with other painters is so rewarding to me. To see them grow and learn new things that will directly benefit their art. That is why I have chosen to go On The Road with a National Tour from East to West Coast. I am still booking new locations so please contact me about having a workshop at your facility, gallery or art center.
So many artists love portrait or figurative painting. Getting started or getting a better grasp on it is not always easy. Even finding a model can be costly and inconvenient. So I have structured a Self-Portrait Workshop. Like so many great artists and Old Masters before us they too need a model and by convenience chose themselves to model in a mirror. Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Caravaggio, Cézanne, the list goes on and on.
You will be inspired by what a self-portrait can be and I will provide valuable teaching and instruction on how to begin or further your understanding of portraiture and the human features of the face. This is a very valuable workshop for beginning or experienced painters.
Self-portrait is very cool. It is the perfect direction for the accomplished or beginning artist to tackle. Besides allowing for personal expression it provides the perfect learning experience.
Know thyself, says Socrates. When one explores this it is said to lead to profound understanding about all creation. We are told that if we can love ourselves then we can love others it is the first step in being able to perform true love. I believe self-portraiture has a similar concept for the artist. If we can paint ourselves, learn from our face, our features, our expressions, we can more intimately viewing and paint others.
When we paint ourselves we establish a norm from which we can understand others. How do others differentiate from myself? Painting my self-portrait has explained to me why I paint certain things the way I do. It also explains to me why I have difficulties with other people’s features and proportions, because mine are not theirs.
There is no perfect standard of proportions, everyone deviates in some way or another, but if we can form in our mind the idea of a real life, feelings and structure we can paint our self-portrait from the inside out verses outside in when painting a portrait of another, to get a handle on portraiture. Like we never ever had before.
Can we truly gauge what a sitter is thinking or feeling? We can only guess as we try to copy the outward form. But by knowing ourselves and relating it to the outer form there is a more profound connection for the painter to understand the deep going-on’s than with any other type of painting.
The Old Masters like Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Caravaggio, Courbet Picasso and Cezanne must have experienced this as they have giving us some of the finest portraits being self-portraits. These portraits embody the painter more than any other painting. They give us themselves as they see themselves.
Please explore self-portraiture. And if you desire more, please join me in my national tour of self-portraiture workshops as I tour from east to west coast over the next few years. I would enjoy meeting you and helping to see yourself and art in a new dimension.
Not quite sure what I saw staring back in me from that mirror in my dimly lit studio on that over cast two days. As I starred down the proportions, form, colors and shadows a character emerged, more elongated, like the figures I so enjoyed painting from the museum of El Greco’s.
I could feel the blue-ish cast highlights and warm obscuring tones on the figures face. My face. Trying to focus on what was important and giving some suggestion of the space I occupied.
I am inside here, this is me, my troublesome features test me to depict them accurately. I seemed at rest and peace, no rush as when dealing with a model and trying to get the information down before they sag or move so terribly. Stand still, as if it really mattered, I could just slowly move back into my proper place as the model and the painter in this self-portrait. This is where it all comes together. At least for me right now.
Self-portrait in warm shadows, 9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas panel
American Oil Painter Daryl Urig is a member of The Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America and Cincinnati Art Club. He has taught at the University of Cincinnati for over 8 years and is president of Total Media Source Inc.