Help me name and maybe finish up a painting?
February 10, 2018 6:27 PM   Subscribe

I am waffling over the title of this painting of young puffins and also whether or not I should ground them more with cast shadow. I would appreciate others' takes.

I like either Parliament, Improbability, or Puffinry, all of which are collective nouns for a group of puffins, but think each of them have their strong and weak points. I am open to other options too.

The puffins in question are juveniles (different coloration than adults - closer to adult winter plumage).

Regarding grounding, I purposefully didn't put much cast shadow beneath them; I've been kind of liking the surreal / cut-out / impermanent nature of the piece. But I'm wondering if it just looks like an oversight.
posted by vegartanipla to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Beautiful! I love Puffinry because it is fun to say out loud. I think adding some more distinct grounding would be nice.
posted by teamnap at 6:38 PM on February 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

I woulc call it Improbability; a group of puffins is a circus, burrow or improbability. And I'd add more shadow simply because within the body of your work, it does seem comparatively un-grounded to me.

I really love your portfolio, by the way.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:39 PM on February 10, 2018 [5 favorites]

Finite Improbability, if you like Douglas Adams. Since the horizon is so indistinct, I don't think more shadow is necessary—they seem to exist in a placeless place.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:47 PM on February 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

As a layperson, I really like it just as is. (re: shadows)

I favor "Parliament" - the main weak point I can think of is that parliament members in politics aren't typically youth, but youth totally still have political opinions, so I actually see it as a strength.

Or, y'know. "o rly?" but that title probably doesn't have enough gravity to do the painting justice.
posted by aniola at 6:52 PM on February 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

A cast shadow would wreck it...hard enough to do on a background with a structured form and impossible to carry off convincingly on the sort of semi abstract treatment you've got here.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:07 PM on February 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

I like Puffinry. I think it's unique.
posted by starlybri at 7:48 PM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

I Am Not An Artist, IANYA, but I like it. My eyes are drawn to the quizzical little puffin looking back at me. Puffinry it is.
posted by TrishaU at 8:02 PM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'd leave it, myself, with shadows as they are. If you're really unsure, though, can you get a good scan or photograph of it and pop it into a photo editing program and throw some shadow on a layer to kind of "test drive" it before committing?
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 8:16 PM on February 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

I like it, I like the amount of shadow you have, I like "Puffinry." Nice.
posted by MovableBookLady at 9:40 PM on February 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

I like Parliament, because the bird on the left seems to be saying something that s/he feels is so important; to me that one best represents the action in the image.

The shadow question is tough. I think just a little more might be nice, especially for the one on the far right.
posted by salvia at 10:04 PM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

The painting is lovely, and I think Puffinry is a great title. I do think that the puffins need to be grounded a bit more. If you convert the image to greyscale there's enough contrast to indicate that the puffins are casting shadow, so I think what you really need is a bit of an indicator of ambient occlusion to remove the 'floating' appearance.
posted by xyzzy at 2:51 AM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

What a wonderful painting. It makes me smile, and I like "Parliament" as a gently comic title for it. I do think that a little additional grounding shadow is in order.

Beautiful work.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:50 AM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Icelandic word for a young puffin is “pysja” (the plural is “pysjur”).
posted by Kattullus at 9:34 AM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

The first thing I though of is a government filibuster.

The Puffinry Parliament!

It's just perfect the way it is. WANT!!

Agree with DarlingBri, you have a lovely portfolio.
posted by BlueHorse at 12:31 PM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Definitely Puffinry.
posted by toastedcheese at 6:17 PM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ha, I like the idea of calling it Filibuster! But of the initial choices I dig Parliament, which also seems to fit with the deadpan wit of your other acrylics’ titles.

I do not think more shadow is necessary.
posted by ejs at 7:32 PM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thank you all for the critique and for your kind words as well. There was not as clear a consensus on either issue as I'd thought there might be. I suppose that means I can justify whatever I land on!
posted by vegartanipla at 9:06 PM on February 11, 2018

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