How to Title a Self-Portrait

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Use your creativity when titling a self-portrait.
Use your creativity when titling a self-portrait. (Image: NA/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Some say that the title is as much a part of an artwork as the paint. It is true that the title gives insight into the artist’s thoughts. The artist Paul Klee was known for giving long titles to his paintings. His intentions were to give the viewer a deeper understanding of the artwork’s meaning. The choice of titles is infinite, even when titling a self-portrait.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil or pen
  • Paper

Look at your self-portrait. Take notes about what you see. Describe the colors, the shapes, and the objects in the picture. Write about what you were thinking and feeling when you created the painting.

Title the portrait after yourself. The title can simply be “Self-portrait of Joe Smith.”

Title the portrait after something dominant in the picture, such as a color. The title might be "The Artist in Blue," if that is the color you are wearing. Or the title might refer to something else in the picture, such as an object you are holding or a hat you are wearing, like Rembrandt's "Self-portrait with Plumed Beret."

Consider a deeper meaning for the title based on your feelings at the time you painted the portrait. The title might be “The Artist on the Happiest Day of His Life,” or simply “Pensive.”

Title the portrait for the date and place you painted the picture. The title might be, “Atlanta, June 26.” Or, include the type of day it was in the title, such as “Rain in the Summer, Chicago.”

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