One of the first assignments that I always give to my students is to produce a self portrait. This seems like a fairly benign assignment, simply get a mirror and paint yourself. But the ability of the artist to see the truth is never more starkly realized when challenged to paint herself. Do you paint yourself as you appear to yourself?, as you appear to others?, as you would like to appear?, or to some more abstract truth as to how you feel, or how you live your life? This challenge is one of the greatest hurdles that artists throughout the centuries have wrestled with. In this age of Social Media how we depict and present ourselves as artists is more relevant than ever. Below is a brief survey of how some of Art Histories greatest artists depicted themselves. This is Art History’s profile pictures. What does each self portrait say about the artist and how they perceive themselves, and wish to be perceived by others? Enjoy.
Lawrence Alma Tadema
Vincent Van Gogh
The eye of the artist is most challenged when forced to look inward upon himself. If you have not painted a self portrait, I encourage you to do as many of the great masters of the past have done, and try to paint yourself honestly, its harder than it looks.
Remember that Nov. 1st is Self Portrait Day. Check out the facebook page:
Author/Illustrator of the best selling Dracopedia book series, as well as illustrator of over 3000 illustrations for the gaming and publishing business, William O'Connor's 20 year career has allowed him to work with such companies as: Wizards of the Coast, Impact Books, Blizzard Entertainment, WhiteWolf/CCP, Lucas Films, Activision and many more.
A winner of over 30 industry awards for artistic excellence including 6 contributions to Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantasy Art and 8 Chesley nominations, William has taught and lectured around the country about his unique and varied artwork.