Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Color and Light Book

I’ve got a big project in the works, and I’d like to ask for your input.

As you may have guessed, I’m creating another book to be a companion volume to Imaginative Realism. It’s called Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter. It’s all new art and all new material. I’ll tell you more about what’s in the book at the end of this post and in tomorrow’s post.

About your input: we’re not completely settled on the cover design. Please look at all of the following rough mockups and vote at left for the one you like best.


Sleeping Dino


Street Scene


Birdman


Montage


Sunset


Lamplight

Here are the big chapter titles:
Tradition
Sources of Light
Light and Form
Elements of Color
Paint and Pigments
Color Relationships
Premixing
Visual Perception
Surfaces and Effects
Atmospheric Effects
Resources

I look forward to your vote in the poll at left. More tomorrow!

120 comments:

Nancy said...

I vote for the first one, Sleeping Dino. Some of the others would pigeonhole you into a niche (fantasy art, landscape art, etc.), but my guess is your book will be applicable to many styles, not any one niche. So very many people judge books by their covers! No point in limiting your audience unnecessarily.

Steve said...

Great news! Looking forward to it.

I also vote for the image at the top. I feel it is the most compelling and distinctive.

Antti said...

I also vote for Sleeping Dino, best for the title. The last one also comes close.

houseguard said...

"Lamplight" gets my vote. It is an image that implies consideration beyond but not exclusive of imaginative creatures and dynos.

Allen Douglas said...

I agree.... the sleeping dino. For the genre-spanning subject matter and the type of lighting in that particular piece.

Zack said...

I vote for "Lamplight". The Sleeping Dino and Street Scene after that. Though they don't seem to be as balanced as Lamplight and thematically don't illustrate the title as well as the girl holding the lamp does.

Marion said...

I vote for "Montage" as it shows the books usefulness whether you paint standard landscapes or fantasy or anything in between. This book will be useful. I look forward to it being published. I had your last book for christmas and I love it. So much information and all of it usefull and interesting.

BrittMartin said...

My vote would have to be for 'Lamplight'.
It's a good general image that covers a good range of subject matters.
(2nd choice would be 'Street Scene' for a general audience/art book.
3rd would be the 'Sleeping Dino' - it is the most striking & eye attracting to my eyes, but the subject matter may throw some 'off')

Daroo said...

Cool!

Sleeping Dino is graceful, appealing and unique and is filled with light and color. It is very Gurney-esque and probably your best bet for a distinctive cover.

Street Scene is a very impressive painting and appeals to me more as a painter -- subtlety with light and color being a goal over simply bright and colorful. The one drawback is that on a book shelf, from a distance, the Street Scene cover might play as a photo.

Sunset is a very impressive painting, but as a "cover" for a painting book on light and color it seems to be a little bit of a cliche and could be confused with others I've seen.

Birdman is delightfully creepy -- but for many people creepy outweighs the delightful.

I like the montage idea -- but maybe substitute a dino sleeping detail for birdman or a figure/ portrait where the light and shadow is the dominant design element.

If you go with a single image for the cover, maybe you could fill the back cover with a montage of your color thumbnails (similar to page 34 of Imaginative Realism or pages 109 and 128 of Chandara) or smaller plein air studies where the emphasis is on the big shapes of color over realistic rendering. (I always turn a book over and look at the back before opening it up and if it surprises me with something different than the cover, I'm more likely to open it up.

Laurghita said...

I think street scene truly look like a color/shadows theory, not like some background, composition or creature theory...

Bjorn Nelissen said...

I voted for the street scene.

The first one with the sleeping dino does tell a lot about light and what color can do with light. What bugs me is the cut-off tail on the right. It immediately grabs my attention in a bad way and therefore diminishes my attention the meaning of what it is all about.

Birdman is too scary and too sci-fi. Would be a great image for a sci-fi art book, not a book that deals of light and color.

The montage approach is used in a lot of books dealing with illustration- and painting techniques. It's quite daring to put one image on the cover that just says it all. Stick with that idea James!

Sunset is a bit boring to me.

Lamplight again puts more emphasis on the fantasy-relation and mood just like the birdman image. This one is not so scary though.

The street scene does it all for me. The real cool stuff is happening on the upper-half of the building, especially in the part of the white roof. I would reconsider the typography. It looks as though you're scared to put the text on top of the image and therefore hiding vital parts of the image. Still placing the text on top of the image would be better than the current sketch. It looks like you've looked for the one place in the image where the text would do no harm and place it there. That is exactly what has happened, right? Well, it shows.
Be bold James! You already made a statement by putting just one image on the cover. Now don't get scared dealing with the text. You can go down in the size of the font so that it looks less bulky.

McLean Kendree said...

Street Scene for me.

Its a really sophisticated color palette. I also wonder if putting dinosaurs on the cover of this one might turn away artists who aren't really into "fantasy" art. For your last book, sure, thats what the book is all about. For this one a dinosaur cover could prove distracting for those in search of a "serious" book on color and light.

My 2 cents, anyway! Good luck!

Steve said...

Well, this is interesting. While doing the dishes after lunch, I had the same idea as Daroo, do a montage cover but include Sleeping Dino. It would show that Mr. Gurney is much more than dinosaurs...but it would include a brilliant example of one.

Michael Dooney said...

I like the sleeping dino but I also like some kind of montage cover, but maybe substitute a dinotopia pick for the sci fi alien...ironically a lot of folks still dismiss sf art.

Mary Ann Archibald said...

This makes me smile - to see the fantasy paintings next to the words "a guide for realist painters" -- somehow it tickles my funny bone. For that reason, I'd go with the non-fantasy covers. Either that or change the title to include your wonderful fantasy characters. :)
(Thanks for the smile),

Craig Daniels said...

Much as I like sleeping Dino I think you will reach a wider audience with montage. Although I like the idea of substituting in sleeping dinoas well.

Torbjörn Källström said...

My favorites are sunset and lamplight. The dino is really nice but something makes me feel it doesn't quite "fit". Street scene is a really nice painting but at the same time I think it's not all too interesting and doesn't exactly screem "buy me!" which I suppose is the purpose of a cover.

So, as I said I'd go with either the sunset or lamplight. But sunset might appear a bit boring too, so perhaps lampligt is the best alternative.

ppinho said...

definitely the street scene, much more moodier...

Kate Higgins said...

I love the sleeping dino and lamplight. Next to drawing hands, I find painting back light and light under (and on) water the most challenging. I am looking forward to this book

Nicolas said...

The first one, sleeping Dino, is my favorite, it tells everything !

r8r said...

I'd vote for the montage.
I think more potential buyers can relate to it. It also alludes to the many KINDS of realism that are possible to paint.

Much as I like the images of the dinos, the fairy princesses and whatnot, I think an arrangement of varied 'realisms' will serve the book better in the long run.

Kate Higgins said...

I like "lamplight" and "sleeping Dino" the best. Besides drawing hands, I find illustrating back light and light on and under water the most challenging. I will look forward to this book whatever the cover you choose.

Larry said...

I vote for Street Scene. Of course, I love the painting, but I also think it best represents the subject matter and would appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers. You know that Gurney fans will buy it if it came with a plain brown paper cover. The genre specific covers might lead those not familiar with you or your blog (hard to believe right?) that the content might not relate to their work.

Will said...

I think I may have accidentally voted twice, but I voted for the Sleeping Dino. I think it clearly illustrates the contents of the book - it's very colorful & uses light wonderfully.
Also the layout of typography & such really tie it in with the cover of IR which would really make the two look good together on the book shelf.

My second choice would be the Lamplight scene.

And I am THRILLED to hear about a new book... Imaginative Realism is one of the best & most useful books that I've ever had on my bookshelf. Thanks so much, and here's to another great one!

Katharine said...

My vote goes to "Lamplight". It has appealing figures in an attractive environment, with a direct light source, which is tough to pull off.

If I had to make a second choice, I'd choose "Street Scene". I think this is a lovely painting. However, I may be biased; this reminds me of my hometown in upstate NY.

Sara Light Waller said...

I love Sleeping Dino. I agree with Nancy that it wouldn't pigeonhole the book. There are so many painting books out there with beautiful covers it's nice to see one where you go..."Oh? What that's there? It's a different subject. And it's so beautifully rendered/painted." It would make want to look inside right away.

Robb said...

Always wondered why you hadn't used some dino art for the cover of Imaginitive Realism - I think it's got broad appeal and can make a passer-by realize that this book might be by the author of Dinotopia. I think that series has enough popularity that it could help sales with this book through the cover.

Huan said...

I'm for Lamplight... I've always loved the image and it seems less genre locked than the others.
(Honestly, I just think it would look great on my bookshelf.)

Brian said...

Sleeping Dino is my choice. You can really feel that sunlight shining down and enveloping the critter.

Ilaria said...

Street Scene for me, I think it appeals both to painters and illustrators, the same can't be said about the other covers

Les said...

Gee, what a conundrum: Of all my exceptional examples of appealing, technically accurate, and award-winning work, which should I showcase? If only I had such problems!! :-)

"Montage" appeals to a broader market. Assuming you are not just targeting fantasy artists, this cover would appeal to most.

"Birdman" is probably on the "Montage" cover to broaden the range of colors and provide subject and gamut contrast, but the contrast seems too great. I recommend replacing it with "Sleeping Bird". You are dinosaurs; build off it.

Victor said...

Street scene is the one I voted for.

To me, that is the image where light itself seems to be the actual subject.

Lillian said...

I voted for Lamplight, but what I would really like to see is a montage that included Street Scene, Sleeping Dino and Lamplight. Those three show the most dramatic use of light (in my opinion) and the variety of subject matter the reader should hope to experience. Sunset is beautiful, but it seems more common and less likely to demand someone to pick it off the shelf. Birdman is interesting and well done, but it doesn’t express the same wonderful use of light exhibited in the other three.

Patrick Moore said...

I like both Sleeping Dino and Street Scene. I don't know, for me the texture of the rock or gravel and it's color is just to amazing to pass up. Although I think Street Scene appeals to a wider variety of painters, I like Sleeping Dino. I'm really looking forward to this book!

Beth said...

I like sleeping dino for a cover, because it is most unusual. I don't know that it is most attractive (I think the street scene is most easy on the eyes), but it is eye catching & distinctive, imho.

Beth

Susan Adsett said...

I voted for "Sleeping Dino" - interestingly enough, I didn't immediately see it as a dinosaur - I saw "sleeping exotic bird". So perhaps not everyone will associate it with dinosaurs/fantasy.

That being said - the montage is also a good idea, and like most, I would suggest replacing "Birdman" with "sleeping dino" "Street Scene" and "Sunset" are both great paintings, but as stand-alone covers they are a little bit too much like everything else out there on the topic. I think it's important to show that you're bringing something new to the table. "Sleeping Dino" does that well - very few people writing about color and light use animals as demos - they usually use landscapes and people.

Random York said...

Jim,
I like the montage approach best. I would enjoy seeing a montage with a Dinatopa image, a fantasy and a plein air as the 3 components.
Thanks for letting us be a part of the input!
Good luck-
John

Charles Valsechi III said...

Lamplight is my vote, DEFINITELY a book that needs to be made and one I will add to my collection along with imaginative realism!

K. W. Broad said...

I attempted looking at each piece individually onscreen from across the room, and personal biases aside, I have to go with Sleeping Dino. It seems to have the most dramatic lighting and the most "punch" with the colors. It immediately shouts "Color & Light" to me.

As much as I like Street Scene, it was still a bit subtle to me and at first glance struck me as possibly a book on photography rather than painting.

Birdman is an excellent painting, but I believe the characters are a little TOO interesting. I find myself wanting to know their story more than about the actual subject matter of the book.

Montage at first glance I don't know what to make of it and my eyes tend to search for the title. Being a montage, that could probably be fixed with a rearranged composition, but it still strikes me as trying to say too much at once, like a magazine cover.

Sunset I feel suffers from the same thing as Street Scene. Nothing that jumps out at me right away.

Lamplight would probably be my second choice, as this one also speaks "Color & Light" to me, just not quite as dramatically as Sleeping Dino.

Looking forward to the book with great anticipation!

Carol H. said...

I love the sleeping dino (actually I love them all), but I think the street scene would appeal to a wider audience.

ivo.de.wispelaere said...

I voted "montage", not because it's the one I like the most, but because it's the one that shows both traditional realistic painting as fantastic painting. By choosing a cover that only shows one of those two genres, you give the impression that you only cover one single genre...

cegebe said...

I think Birdman matches "Imaginative Realism" the most - it will really make it look like a companion to that book. But maybe it's not the one that is most distinctive about the subject of "color and light". Sunset and street scene both say a bit more about that, but I don't think they stand that much out compared to so many other covers. Which leads me to the sleeping dino. In my opinion, that one is a winner. It is a graceful composition that makes a stylish cover, it is very Gurney-esque and it shows a lot of clever and original use of light and color. It really shows that you have a few tricks up your sleeve and know how to use them for beautiful artwork.

But hey - a new book! That's some great news, no matter what you put on the cover!

goat89 said...

I am torn between Sleeping Bird and Lamplight... however, because you are famous for your Dinotopia work... the dino cover is more 'appropriate'. Hope it helps!

=shane white= said...

They're all great, no doubt.

The BIRDMAN speaks to what has gone before but in terms of sales the STREETSCENE might draw in a greater breadth of artists.

If you do a third...or are setting out to build a series it's always nice to stick with a theme...right?

Either way I'm buying it.

=s=

lilly piri said...

I voted for street scene, too, and have to agree with Larry. I think you'd reach a wider audience with that cover.

lilly piri said...

P.S. Now I know what to ask for, for my birthday, heheh.

Erin said...

STREET SCENE first preference.
Lamplight comes in a close second.
This big project is very exciting!

Neill said...

lamplight works for me.

David B. Ellis said...

Sleeping Dino.

But if you want to go less genre specific I'd pick Lamplight (though I'd reverse it---maybe its just because I've seen that painting before and am used to it the other way, but it still seems backward to me).

kevinwparker said...

I vote for "Lamplight." It brings in the fantasy element without beating you over the head with it like "Birdman" or overly evoking Dinotopia, like "Sleeping Dino." And it even has an actual light in the image!

JPotts3D said...

I vote Lamplight, best range of subject matter. Was this image not used for the cover of Spectrum?

Lane Brown said...

Sleeping dino is great but I feel that the title is cramped into the corner.

Lamplight would be my choice for the same reasons that others have stated.

Sara said...

I definitely think the first one is the best. It has the most interesting lighting out of all of them, and the subject matter makes it pop a bit more than the other ones.

amonduul said...

I like Lamplight(I think the overall layout is strongest), Sleeping Dino is also great.

PLEASE DON'T DO THE MONTAGE
keep it simple.
I agree with the put stuff on the back of the book person

Andrew Wales said...

This is just my opinion, but I like the ones that don't have fantastic elements. I love those paintings, and I know the last one was on imaginative realism, but for a book that the cover says it's a guide for the realist painter -- for some reason the fantasy paintings look out of place.

It is really cool that we, your blog readers are being asked our opinion!

Andrew Wales said...

Houseguard makes a very good point about Lamplight letting us know that it is about realism, but not necessarily excluding realistic fantasy.

draigstudio said...

Honestly I love the very first image. What Nancy says (first comment) I agree with and deal with in my teachings. It's striking, it makes me think of you and your work, and it would stand out in any bookstore, AND it would look good on my shelves!


And I still need to interview you on my podcast sometime in the next two months.

lilrivkah said...

I don't think any of them are very compelling, honestly. The content is bland, even the sleeping dinosaur. Maybe if it were awake, otherwise, it's a passive cover that does nothing to draw a browsers eye to it. The other covers looks like just about any other book on "color & light" that I've seen before. Which well ... we all know here you're an incredible artist with moving, compelling artwork. These covers don't even marginally reflect that.

Also, the title: you need to find a different typographer. It's borderline amateurish, and could use a font treatment that complements your art instead of weighing it down.

Suggestions for a cover: the street scene with the buildings shows color and light value splendidly, but have something moving in it, such as people walking down the street, a child chasing a dog, etc and possibly move the perspective to a slightly more dynamic angle. Nothing dramatic, but a slight camera tilt, a little more angle to really show off the contrast in lighting.

For a title font, You have very elegant artwork, so why not something with a little more elegance, style, and finesse? There are plenty of beautiful and readable script fonts that make gorgeous headers, or you could pay somebody to hand create one. Doesn't take long and doesn't cost much, and they'll be able to pick up the personality of your book like most premade fonts will not, especially with you working in a distinctly traditional style whereas modern fonts are primarily austere and well ... modern. The font that's currently on there, for all it's serif, is distinctly modern, and it doesn't match.

HA. Hope I'm not coming off as too harsh, but I used to approve book covers, and this one I would have sent back and said to try again.

Brian Vasilik said...

I think the interior of the book should reflect the cover. That is why I chose the montage. It is appealing to a broader market of people who do not know your work. I would only swap the bottom image with the title to the top.

The fearless threader said...

Sleeping Dino is my favourite. I think the others look too far into fantasy or too bland, especially the townscene one. Sleeping Dino has the light behind him, illuminating his feathers and creating a fantastic aura of light around him which brings him even more to life. He looks like he'll just jump awake and pop off the page to play fetch.

SCIBOTIC said...

I like the Sleeping Dino, runner up is the Street Scene, both of which are absolutely gorgeous.

The montage I find tacky to say the least. Birdman and Sunset don't grab me at all, and Lamplight lacks the clarity of the other pieces.

SoarsLikeAnEagle said...

Lamplight... well it is my favorite. The landscape looks like another how to paint a sunset book. The others are nice, but are as one puts it a bit restrictive.

Dan Gurney said...

Street scene is my vote. I agree some action needs to be added to it. My suggestion would be a couple of orange "Art Department" traffic cones, a unicycle, and a balding plein-air artist and his wife painting on the sidewalk with easels set at 90 degrees apart.

Lalquier said...

Sleeping dino definitely.

Birdman looks too close to Imaginative Realism.

Street scene, Sunset and Montage are too generic.

And Lamplight reminds me too much of the cover of an earlier Spectrum volume.

Where can I line up to pre-order one ? :)

Rachael Haupt said...

Definately version one for me!

So great!

mark morris said...

All interesting cover choices. Who did the graphic design on them?

Frankie said...

For the love of God, don't use those generic landscapes. The last image is the most pleasing and fits well, but the typography is just atrocious. don't let them get away with that if you choose this as your painting!

The sleeping dino is nice too.

Michelle Johnson said...

I rather like Sleeping Dino, followed by Street Scene and Lamplight.

John Malcolm said...

My vote's for Street Scene. People who know you mainly from the Dino and Imaginitive Realism stuff (and this blog) will probably buy the book regardless (it's on my list).

ted said...

Sleeping Dino! The other covers (excepting the Birdman) could be an instructional book from any number of great artists, but the dino says "Gurney!" loud and proud.

Jussi Tarvainen said...

Sleeping Dino.

Why? Because it is very realistic which goes well with the tittle yet it is imaginary which goes well with your first book.

CANT wait. But I guess I'll just have to:)

nystudios said...

Sunset 1st.

Lamplight 2nd.

Evan T said...

wow, a ton of people chose sleeping dino! as it happens, was the first image that drew my attention (I loved it ever since you posted the step-by-step)

René PleinAir. said...

Montage.

As Marion points out: "It shows the books usefulness whether you paint standard landscapes or fantasy or anything in between. This book will be useful."

Together with the Dinotopia logo it should be well known that it is from your hand. Maybe an other montage Will suits many a little more, looking at the results.

Sam said...

I look forward to the new book. Loved Imaginative Realism...very inspiring. I voted for the Sleeping Dino cause I love dinosaurs and I love the way you bring them to life.

nosaj said...

'Birdman' would look cool on the bookshelf beside my copy of Imaginative Realism!

Erik said...

I very much enjoyed the previous book so I'm thrilled to hear about this project.
The Sleeping Dino is an awesome painting, but I opted for Lamplight in the end because it fit with the theme of the book better in my opinion.

Claire said...

I like the sleeping dino.
It has a strong focal point and the light in the picture really grabs the passerby... ;)
The last one is very classic looking but may not be different enough to grab the average consumer.
The dino has an exciting aspect to it.

Arnd said...

I go for the lamplight.
At first glanced over the pictures (like it would happen at the bookstore) my initial thoughts were:
A flamingo kind bird
A photo of a street
A full fantasy kids book
A montage - like most of those books just something put together from different sources
A photo of a sunset - most likely a book about nature photography
A lovely painting - what is this about?

As i wrote - that was my very first initial impression. The second glance revealed of course the true nature of the dino, that the "photos" were paintings and so on. Question is - would i give them a second glance?

DavidStill said...

I really like all of them, except for the montage. I think you should really think of the problem in terms of how you want the book to look next to Imaginative Realism. In a way, the Birdman cover ties them together in a nice way - both are portraits of alien/mythological creatures. On the other hand, having a more fine artsy landscape might be a nice contrast. Maybe the first book is more about creating fantastical worlds -hence the alien - while the second book is more about capturing the light and colour that already exist in our world - therefore, a more serene landscape.

I think in the end, I will vote for... Street scene. Or Birdman. Or Lamplight... Hmmmmm...

Jan said...

Either dino, or the street. I like dino a bit better, but the street might scare normal people less than a bird-dinosaur. ;)

Erik Bongers said...

Quite a privilege that our input is asked! And a very efficient way of marketing research...or is it?

I noticed that the Dino cover has the highest number of votes, but I think you need to keep in mind that the audience of this blog may for a large part be Dinotopia and Fantasy Art fans. They may not necessarily be the audience this book is aiming for.

I voted for the street scene.
Reason being that it has NO link whatsoever with fantasie art and (very personally) I think it evokes the theme of light and colour best. Furthermore, if I would see that cover in a bookstore, I would think "Ah...a technical book for artists". The other covers are just way to Dino and Fantasy for me.

It all depends on what your audience is, and how much of James Gurney's typical or recognizable subjects you want to be in that cover.

As a runner-up, I also like the composition a bit. Not so much aesthetically, but instantly recognizable as a technical art instruction book.

To go over the other covers as well:
I really like the dino painting a lot by itself, but I believe it's not the best choice for this theme.

The birdman is way too similar to the cover of the first book. (Although that might be a good thing for recognizability).
But I would intuitively think that a book with this cover would have very similar content to the first book.

The sunset and the lamplight work for the subject of the book, but they narrow the perceived theme of the book to either only landscape painting or only very academic painting, and I think you would like the book to reach a very wide range of artists.

(I'm a bit late with my comments, and I deliberately didn't read the other comments first, but I hope my input is still of use)

Erik Bongers said...

I took the time to read the other comments now, and most of the people make the same associations that I did...but everyone disagrees whether these associations are a good or a bad thing!

During my second look at the covers, I noticed that I liked aspects in most of the covers, except the birdman as not being representative enough.

About the composition, I think that the two outdoor scenes are perhaps a bit too similar, and the birdman just 'sucks' all the attention to him.
I wonder if other mosaics could be possible, with the dino, a landscape or streetscene and the lamplight picture. This way the compo would be way more diverse, and you would no longer have a too distractive portrait. (remember the eye-tracking tests of the first book?)

SVSART said...

My vote is for "Lamplight" since it is an image every James Gurney fan knows I think it will be easier for your fans out there to know it's YOU if they aren't already following you on your blog.

Gene Snyder said...

Hey Jim,

I voted for Birdman. I'm leaning toward Birdman because you say that this book is a companion book to "Imaginative Realism" and Birdman would fit perfectly for that. The only thing that throws off the Birdman cover idea is the subtitle "A Guide for the Realist Painter". I think the "Realist" subtitle goes against what's in the first book, which leads you to believe this isn't a companion book. Maybe you could have a subtitle like, "A Guide for Painters" and leave it open to all forms of painting?

Also, it's hard to make a call without knowing the imagery you intend to use inside the book. We can't have Birdman on the cover if all of your examples on the inside are created from painting trips in the Hudson valley. ;0)

Maybe you could have another book that deals specifically with how to paint dinosaurs and throw some info in on the many different species of dinosaurs?

The sky's the limit!!!

Cheers!
Gene

jj sheridan said...

I think Sleeping Dino is the cover that would draw the greatest attention. The lighting and colour are both beautifully "observed" and the layout is also the most interesting of all the covers. On a gut level, who can resist a sleeping dino? I am neither a fantasy nor a science fiction illustrator, but as an illustrator interested in learning more about colour and light this cover appeals to me most.
Can't wait!

compa-mighty said...

Hello Sir! I love the Street Scene, but from a marketing point of view, I would rather suggest the Montage, which looks great. Perhaps I'd add a dinosaur in the montage. Dinosaurs grab attention... but who am I telling this to? ;)

caynazzo said...

I'm partial to landscapes, but sleeping dino has the best pizzaz.

thokitts said...

Street scene or the landscape seems to have the widest appeal. I like the others, but it leads me to think about the work in terms of fantasy or illustration rather than painting -- not that there is anything wrong with either genres.

As always, great work.

Thomas Kitts

http://www.thomaskitts.com

Christopher Thornock said...

Lamplight, for sure. Great, another book to add to my library! I think that the Lamplight has a really nice subtle metaphor and includes both the real and the fantastic. There are too many 'plein aire' type book covers.

RocknOats said...

I voted for Street Scene, Sleeping Dino makes me think this is another dino book and SS feels more "cover-y" from a design standpoint. I'm setting aside my "New Gurney Book" monies in preparation! I can't wait!

Richard said...

I vote for street scene. It has the look and feel of a classic text that I would want on my shelf. I love the fact that I had to take a second look to figure out if it is a photo. I think that will sell a book about realism to the masses the best. The other pictures feel too genre specific or have layouts that do not appeal to me.

Gary Dombrowski said...

I thought given the title that street scene worked best. ~Gary

Shanth Suresh Enjeti said...

Sleeping Dino.

treplovski said...

I vote for Street Scene as having the appeal to a widest audience. But boy oh boy do I ever like Sleeping Dino and Lamplight!
What is that title typeface? Tiepolo? Not bad, but I agree with lilrivkah in encouraging you to be a bit more daring.
As far as the montage treatment - my first thought when I saw it was "Mark-Down Bin."

Sketchius said...

I voted for Sleeping Dino. I also enjoyed Street Scene, but I think Sleeping Dino would set this book apart from similar titles.

I disagree with the criticisms of the typeface. I think it's spot-on. I particularly enjoy how it looks in Street Scene.

I don't think Birdman works very well. I'm not sure that it is a bad thing that a version of Lamplight was already seen as the cover of Spectrum 1. It has a conceptual appeal, but I feel like Sleeping Dino has the best technical appeal. It simply looks impressive in terms of light and color.

Sunset is also nice, but again it looks too familiar compared to similar books I've seen.

I would stay away from the montage.

I'm really excited for this book! Thanks for letting us in on the process! :)

Vit said...

The bottom half of Birdman is the most similar with the previous book.
However a "big" montage with added Lamplight and Sleeping Dino can show that the book covers something more than a part of one genre.

Brooks Hansen said...

On glancing through the responses, it sounds like most people voting for Sleeping Dino do so because it's clearly their favorite, while most of those voting for one of the others (Street Scene would be my second choice) think it will have a broader appeal and/or serve your purposes better.

Beware the mind readers.

Sleeping Dino.

R. Adrian Z said...

i Vote for SLEEPING DINO

why: it was simple form of the dino catch my eyes first
then drove me to focus on the book.

can't wait for this book Jim, i'm looking forward.

Indrabar said...

I cast my vote for Sleeping Dino! Definitely caught my interest more than any of the others, although Lamplight is a close second!

Rob Fullmer said...

I voted for Lamplight mainly for the same reason others did. I think it appeals to both the wider audience of artists while giving a solid nod to those interested in fantastic painting. Marketing-wise, I think that one speaks to the largest group of people.

But, that being said, the sleeping dino image knocked my socks off! I've been looking at it most of the day.

Jo said...

I have to say Sleeping Dino is by far my first choice. Second would be Lamplight.

Zanne said...

I vote Sleeping Dino, then Lamplight. But then, I think Birdman ties in really well with the cover of the first book.

shaderyx said...

Another for "Sleeping Dino". In my rookie opinion, it displays the use of light as well as any of the other options, in a more spectacular way - shadowed pebbles, backlit subject, dark indistinct background and blazing white halo of feathers. The "Street Scene" and "Lamplight" options are just too subtle and rather generic when on a shelf with 30 other art technique books. If I were taking a painting class, for instance, I'd be proud to have my Color and Light textbook turning heads as I walked across campus.

Also, if I may be so bold, the "Montage" cover really does not work with those three images laid out as they are. Not only is Birdman distracting but there's not enough contrast between the landscape and street. If there's to be a montage, perhaps a better balanced one... such as the Sleeping Dinosaur primary with the brighter landscape and lamplight, or different examples entirely, as inserts?

Tyler J said...

Late on this one by a day, but I think that the Sleeping Dino ties together the most lighting elements (boca, subsurface scattering, effects, etc.)

That said, the street scene is fantastic and expertly rendered. It would make a fine cover as well.

Finally a quick thought: those past masters in your first chapter might have great artwork, but yours certainly belongs in their company. Besides, where is their blog? =)

Thanks for all your time and dedication, its truly appreciated.

Shannon said...

I'm absolutely thrilled about the new book and eagerly look forward to getting my copy.

I voted for the sleeping dino. It's eye-catching, unusual, and very effectively summarizes the title of your book - how light affects color and how wonderful it is. The other paintings, while excellent, don't encapsulate the title concept as effectively as that little sleeping dino - in my 'umble opinion. They don't have that "zing" for a cover :)

Tayete said...

I am reading the previous one again, and finding new things in every paragraph; so you have a sure buyer here.
I vote for the two tops. But if you want to make sure everyone notices it is a companion of the previous one, the one with the critters should be the most appropiate.

When are you coming to Spain James? The Prado and the Thyssen await you! (and me and my book wanting to be signed)...

Angela said...

Sleeping Dino

I've gotta tell you - I would skip right over the ones with buildings or landscapes...I just feel like I've seen them before.

Wynne said...

If I'm not too late - I vote for Sleeping Dino- the light on the ground and feathers is fantastic. And I like that is says 'a guide for the realist painter' combined with the dino. I have become fascinated with the color tricks of the eye lately and I look forward to reading your book.

Blake said...

I vote for the Street Scene. It is a beautiful painting and has good areas for the type. Sleeping Dino and Lamplight are great paintings, but I like the plein air effect that the Street Scene has without looking too much like a landscape book (the mountain scene reminds me of my Kevin McPherson book). I would steer clear of a montage, though. It makes it look kind of cheap, and a single great painting holds way better on its own.

Stejahen said...

I vote for Street Scene

Natalie said...

I was going to vote for 'Montage' as it has the most variety but on second thought it looks too generic.
I am voting for 'sleeping dino': it says 'Gurney', it's different, and c'mon, it's a SLEEPING DINO!
what more do you need?

By Scott Flanders said...

Birdman could serve as a nice companion image to the little frog goblin character on the cover for Imaginative Realism. The sleeping dinosaur is also very nice and does speak to the rest of your dinosaur work, for which you are well known. Good luck, can't wait for the book.

TheTamshee said...

Birdman is compelling. Why not have them all as big chapter themes

Oh Chelsea said...

sleeping dino for sure

Oh Chelsea said...

ps- I CAN'T WAIT to get this book!!

Evan Jensen said...

Sleeping Dino or Lamplight. They combine the best representations in the set, of both the mimetic image and the imagined realism. Also the most active two of the set, I think.

Ganna said...

Sleeping Dino!

artlifebeauty said...

I would go for Lamplight (first), then Sunset (second). As these covers will not deter fine art painters. Lamplight thought entices not just fine art painters but people in the genre of illustration as well so it pretty much says a lot.

DavidHarris said...

I have to agree with the posters who chose the Street Scene for alot of the same reasons already stated. I like that it does not pigeonhole you as a fantasy artist and in terms of sheer beauty of light and color I think this image has it all without being too stereotypically 'landscapey' either.
It is simply an awesome image and would definitely make me take a closer look if I saw it on a shelf.