Friday, June 7, 2024

Be Consistent With Titles

I called one painting "Rainbow Bridge" in one exhibit and "Gideon's Bridge" in a book.

Unfortunately, both names will follow that image forever.

'Untitled' is a Title: Eleven tips for titling paintings. 


broker12 said...

James . . . I'm afraid this is a little off topic, but it a subject that I wish you would tackle one day (before I die). My question is why do some painters start out slathering paint everywhere, all over the canvas, and begin picking out their painting/subject, while others start with a fairly good sketch/drawing and go about laying in patches of color and value??? Both end up with something recognizable.

When I first decided to paint, I studied with Dan Greene, who as you know starts with enough of a sketch/drawing that you can tell right away where he's going. Since this is how I started learning, this has been my method of getting under way when beginning a new painting. For one thing, it feels like I'm starting with on a more sure footed note.

One reason I bring this up is that a few months ago I ran into a Peruvian painter named Renso. Invariably, he starts with a near geometric sketch of straight lines and then slathers on a two-value approach . . . Light and dark. Then, using the basic formula for placing landmarks (eyes, nose, mouth) he starts adjusting values. Lastly, after bring along his quite loose work, he begins to lay in colors and refinements.

It took me quite awhile to begin to see some method in his approach. he finishes with a small but quite good little portrait done from either color or b&w photo. I've given his method enough of a try to make a mess of it. I still do better using the old sketch/drawing method. What I want to know is. . . am I missing something here? I confess, I have learned a few good things from Renso. Where to these guy come from, as in how and why did they start painting that way. Is there some advantage to it that I am not yet aware of?

James Gurney said...

Good questions, and big questions. There’s no single way to start a portrait…or any other kind of painting. Depends on circumstances, on your time, on your materials, and your goals. My video on portrait painting covers this.

broker12 said...

I would be happy to read or watch it. Please point me to it. Thanks.

rainyforest said...

Hello, James Gurney. Just wanted to say how thankful I am that you bring all the knowledge and beauty. Purchased 2 of your books and I can't even describe how much (tremendously) it helped me. Your paintings, imagination and a true curiosity for this word are amazing. Wish you all the best. And, yes, had the problem with 2 names too!