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3 Ways to Feed Your Need for Texture
Artists have voracious appetites for texture–for new ways of seeing marks appear on a surface and teasing out forms with different strokes. In Strokes of Genius 9: Creative Discoveries, I’ve found a feast for our senses. Texture pours off the page. Painters and illustrators use pen and ink, watercolor, pastel and more to hook us into their orbit and keep our eyes locked to their works.
Here are three (of many!) of my new favorite ways of incorporating surface tension into art, whether it is with repetition, eye appealing backgrounds or strokes that show you exactly what they are made of. Strokes of Genius has them all! Get your copy and enjoy the tutorial!
Two strategies in one, that is what artist Ted Michalowski brings to the table. The first strategy works in the realm color. Look at all those pinks and purples and pink-ish washes. The artist layers pink on pink with more intense blooms highlighting details in the figures’ clothes and hair. He also uses broad strokes of purple and pink to deliver dimension.
The second strategy brings in repetition of forms. When in doubt, repeat. The three renditions of the same figure bring in a story-line element that wouldn’t be there otherwise. It also adds a lot of rich surface texture that makes the artwork feel fanciful and engaging. Win-win.
Loose and Squiggly
Pentimenti is the Italian Renaissance term for all the little false starts you make on your surface. Back then those lines were oftentimes covered up, but many artists nowadays embrace the marks that eventually lead them to “true.”
Agnes Grochulska’s charcoal sketch is a perfect example. The visual interest of all those lines brings something new to the table and allows the artist the freedom to search and find as she hones her form.
Show Me the Way
“I want youuuuu to show me the way.” Do you know that Pete Frampton song? Well, Steven Hill does. He’s definitely showed us the way in his pastel work–you can visually map how he took his pastel stick and pulled it down, down, down then across his surface.
The shapes he leaves behind get to be both abstract swaths of color as well as realistic patches of foaming water, greenery and mossy stones.