I loved my Grandpa – The Paint Brush vs. the Painting Knife

I have such fond memories of my grandpa. He died young when I was either 7 or 8 years old. He was what I wanted to be when I grew up. He loved children. As a child that felt wonderful. Though my father embodied this statement as well, he did not spend time with me as Grandpa did. I remember “Pa”, that is what we called him. He taught me to play my toy xylophone. We built a model of two black bears. We glued the pieces together and then carefully painted them. We also built a wooden stagecoach model. I valued and treasured each experience like a gift that I kept for years. He instructed me in the value of “The Nurseryman” which he was, by germinating orange seeds in our refrigerator. Seeing them sprout we nurtured the seedlings into trees. We had so many small trees. Year’s later in the tenth grade metal shop class I built a large sheet metal pot to house one final selected tree. I kept this tree for probably 25 more years when it died. Pa seemed to have no limits. He was engaged with his grandchildren and I loved him for it.

When I got my chance with my granddaughter this past year I knew what to do. I cannot tell you how fulfilling this is for me. Passing on what I learned from a great man.

Happy Grandpa, 18 x 24 inches, oil on panel

The Paint Brush vs. the Painting Knife

I have been working on this painting “Happy Grandpa” this last week using a paintbrush. I know that using a brush may not be surprising since that is what most painters use. Though for the past 9 years I have been painting solely with a painting knife. Some like to call it a pallet knife others a trowel since it is so large and resembles a cement trowel. I used a Robert Simons No. 8 Signet, 3/4 inch Rosemary & Co. Series 303 and No. 6 Ivory Rigger brushes.

One of the reasons I hated using a paintbrush in the past and began to favor the Painting Knife was because of the nuisance and time wasting effort needed in washing them out with turpentine.  As many of you know I paint with M. Graham Oil Paints that are made with Walnut Oil for the last 9 years.  No more smelly turpentine’s, I don’t care if they call them odorless or not, I can still smell them, and they give me a headache.

With this brush painting I made use of my paper towels to pull the unwanted paint from my brush. I learned this from years of painting with a Painting Knife. If I need a cleaner brush, I lay it in some Walnut Oil and then pull out the unwanted pigment with a paper towel or rag. This is definitely an added benefit and convenience of brush painting with M. Graham Walnut Oil. Then wash it in Murphy Oil Soap when I am ready to stop painting for the day. I form the bristles of the brush to keep its shape and air-dry it.

Still, when it comes to being expedient a knife is the way to go. If you want softer edges and a little more hassle we always have artist paint brushes.

Looking Forward to the New Year!

I am so looking forward to a new year of painting workshops across North America. With old acquaintances from past workshops and meeting new energetic painters that want to grow their abilities.

Lots of great locations for artists to retreat and refresh their creative energies. Warm climates in the cold time of year. Cooler weather for the hot and roasty times of the year. Cool breezes from a marsh or sea to refresh the air. Western getaways for the cowboy or cowgirl in everyone of us.

Starting in Florida, flying to California then back to the Carolinas and Georgia for a workshop. Catching up with some of my boyhood love of the west in Texas. Then returning to the coastal areas of South Carolina, Rhode Island, New Jersey and The Hamptons. I have always loved the water and allure of boats. I will then travel north to Vermont.

Flying out of the United States to Kelowna BC (the westernmost of Canada’s provinces) a charming and picturesque area. Staying west in Utah for 2 amazing workshops capturing my love for the Wild West. I loved those old cowboy movies and shows and they come to life here for me. Enjoying the beauty of Oregon, moving to the North Central region of the United States to a hidden area in Wisconsin.

I am so looking forward to the experiences and growth we can enjoy as painters in each others company. To me these are life experiences and opportunities I will cherish through my life. I will be doing what I truly love, painting, instructing and inspiring other painters in life and art.

View locations and Dates of 2013 Workshops

© 2013 Daryl Urig

Daryl Urig 2013 National Workshop Tour Schedule

 – See full information here:  http://www.DarylUrig.com

We have some wonderful workshops planned for 2013. In some very convenient and beautiful areas of North America. I hope to see you. You can view more complete information on my home page of my website.

Blessed Holidays & Happy New Year…


January 29, 30 & 31, 2013 – STUDIO PAINTING KNIVES – GET OUT OF BOX
New Smyrna Beach, FL

February 9 – 13, 2013 – HOW TO SEE & PAINT COLOR
Rancho Mirage CA

San Luis Obispo Museum of Art San, CA

Kudzu Art Zone, 116 Carlyle Street, Norcross, GA

Lake Grandbury Art Assoc., 224 North Travis Granbury, Texas

Art League of Hilton Head, Hilton Head Island, SC

The Portsmouth Arts Guild, Portsmouth, RI

June 10 – 13, 2013 – STUDIO PAINTING KNIVES
Ocean County Artist Guild, 22 Chestnut Ave., Island Heights, NJ

June 17, 18 & 19 or 17, 18, 19 & 20 – PLEIN AIR PAINTING IN THE HAMPTONS
Email: Contact@DarylUrig.com

Landgrove, Vermont

June 30, July 1 & 2, 2013 – PLEIN-AIR PAINTING
The Portsmouth Arts Guild, Portsmouth RI

July 15 – 19, 2013 – Intro to Painting Knives & Seeing Color
Kelowna, BC

July 22- 26, 2013 – Intro to Outdoor Painting
Kelowna, BC

September 1 – 5, 2013 – PAINT THE WEST
Maynard Dixon Studio, Mount Carmel, UT

Ogden, Utah

September 16 – 19, 2013 – STUDIO PAINTING KNIVES – GET OUT OF BOX
Emerald Art Center, 500 Main Street, Springfield, Oregon

October 7 – October 10, 2013 – PLEIN AIR LANDSCAPE
Dillman’s Bay Resort , Lac du Flambeau, WI

© 2012 Daryl Urig

Self Portrait in Rancho Mirage CA – Painter Workshop Testimonials

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

Skull Study

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


Purchase paintings here

Information on Workshops & Locations

© 2012 Daryl Urig

A Short Demo for Urig’s Self-Portraiture Workshop – YouTube Video

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.

See dates and local workshop offerings in your area here:

< Read more about self-portrait workshop

Information on Workshops & Locations
© 2012 Daryl Urig

Open Media Self-Portraiture and Understanding the Human Face – Cincinnati Art Club

This past week Urig taught a Self-portrait Workshop, The kick off Workshop for his National Tour beginning this year, at the Pendleton Location for the Cincinnati Art Club. One of the oldest Art Clubs in the Nation established 1890. The workshop met with great enthusiasm from participants. Urig began the workshop with examples of self-portraiture painting through history. Hands on demonstration of understanding the proportions of the human face. Painting and sketching demonstrations to help the artist better understand concepts of the human face and exercises to deepen the artist skills. Finishing off with a self-portrait demonstration and providing ample time for the artist to begin developing a self-portrait. Many of the students had never attempted portraiture or even self-portraiture and found the workshop to be extremely beneficial. One testimony reads: Very good workshop. Covered basic artistic anatomy to advanced painting and drawing techniques. Daryl was very patient and thoughtful. Good explanation of concepts. – Dr. Michelle Andrews The portrait shown here was developed with a charcoal sketch on 11 x 14 in. gessoed panel finished with M. Graham Walnut Oil an Oil Paint.

< Read more about self-portrait workshop

WORKSHOPS Sign-up Here: http://www.darylurig.com/workshops-and-learning.aspx adminPosted on Categories concepts in painting, EducationTags , , , , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment on Open Media Self-Portraiture and Understanding the Human Face – Cincinnati Art Club

Self-Portrait in Hoodie

Self-Portrait in Hoodie, Oil, 18 x 24 inches

I had a number of personal goals set for this painting. I felt I had reached them, and this painting gave me some satisfaction. It is a rare feeling for me.

Information on Workshops & Locations
YouTube Video:
Self-Portrait: http://youtu.be/5DDJ0TwPGz0
Painting Knives: http://youtu.be/WZOwpcxitc8

© 2011 Daryl Urig


Daryl Urig On The Road National Tour Workshop

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.

Look at Workshop Here: http://www.darylurig.com/workshops-and-learning.aspx

© 2011 Daryl Urig, All Rights Reserved

More on Daryl Urig:

Interview & Bio: http://www.darylurig.com/about-daryl-urig.aspx

Broken Mirror, self-portrait with painting knife (Workshop Learnings)

In my recent self portrait workshop it was a joy to work with other painters. It is always hard for me when the class is over I miss the students and the bonding we experience together at the workshops. Self portraiture is an excellent way to get into or improve your portrait painting by gaining a deeper understanding of the Human Face. See workshops.

I wanted to mention a few leanings I have gained by giving workshops for many years.

Treat your painting as you would create some fine cooking. You would not just grab haphazardly any spices and ingredients and throw them into a bowl hoping for some great flavor to emerge. I believe you would carefully select the ingredients, proportions of ingredients, application and maybe even time of insertion into your final creation and then time them just right.

Savory flavors in cooking are about contrasting flavor ingredients. In painting, everything is about the proper selection and its contrast to what is next to it. Contrasting brush stroke ingredients ( example: color, value, shape, size, texture, flow, thickness) add flavor to your painting.

Icing a cake, is probably more like painting then drawing with a pencil. Though I find a lot of painters want to carefully render and draw in each item perfectly, I enjoy a more painterly approach, maybe like even Sargent would have enjoyed, where each stroke is carefully designed and then placed on the canvas. It starts on the canvas and ends on the canvas. And you need to go back for more icing with every placement or two of icing (paint).

broken mirror self portrait 07-03-2011, oil on canvas panel, created with knife painting

The above demonstration was completed in a few hours at my last workshop. Developed after prior initial studies of form and structure. It was using a limited palette to concentrate on values,  lighting and form. Using a painting knife kept me from niggling details and helped me go for the overall painting impression while adding a unique characteristic to the paint. I enjoy painting knives, but they are not for everyone. There are no limits though to personal expression in self portraiture as illustrated in the movie presentation we enjoyed viewing together.

The broken mirror happened in transport of the mirror (good thing I am not superstitious) and added some activity to the lower left corner by duplicating and enlarging a repeated section of the painting.

© 2011 Daryl Urig