Art Sketchbook · EDCI 307A

Element of Design: Texture

Texture – Surface feeling or appearance

We were introduced to exploring texture in art class by being given a few moments to wander around the room and surrounding areas to do texture rubbings. We found textures that were interesting to us, laid a piece of blank un-lined paper over that texture, and used pencil crayons to colour the part of paper laid over the texture. This produced a transfer of the texture onto our pages. We did this for four different textures.

Top left: Smooth concrete beam inside; Top right: Cork board; Bottom left: Airflow grate of a projector; Bottom right: Rough concrete ramp outside

This was our introduction into real texture vs. the illusion of texture. After having explored real texture with this exercise, our instructor discussed the difficulties of replicating the effect of texture, or creating the illusion of texture for depth in art. She had us cut pieces out of our texture rubbings, as evidenced from my mutilated sheet above, and create a texture collage with those pieces. The result could be abstract, or make a picture.

Lightening storm, real texture collage

After creating these real texture collages, we drew the same image beside it attempting to recreate the illusion of texture. It proved to be more difficult to replicate than I think many of us thought it would be.

Lightening storm, illusion of texture

I was pretty happy with how my illusion of texture turned out. Here are the two side by side. Can you tell which is which?

Left: Real texture; Right: Illusion of texture

Our instructor also encouraged us to find mentor artists for both real texture and illusion of texture. Vincent Van Gogh uses a combination of different brushstrokes to create the illusion of texture to evoke emotion in his works.

Olive Trees in a Mountainous Landscape by Vincent Van Gogh (oil on canvas, June 1889) – Merged from fragments found at, Public Domain,

My partner, Ben Dopp uses the real texture of wire to make various sculptures, ranging from simple two-dimensional outlines to full three-dimensional pieces. Despite being real texture works in real life, the photographic representation of these works would also be an illusion of texture. These unnamed flamingo and warrior wire sculptures were created in 2009, pictures are my own.


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