Texture Painting Inspirations – The Inner Process
Let us start with the very basics of textures and their use in painting.
The very urge to put texture into painting comes to us very naturally. Because texture plays a dynamic and determining role in painting as well as every single activity we do in a day. Right from the breath, we inhale in, the home we live in, the body lotion or soap we use, the pen we write with, or a keyboard we press keys on; to the extent, the wound that gets healed owns unique texture.
Therefore it is not at all surprising to see various textures in a painting as every painting has got a personal touch and expression of a human being. Every texture has something to say or we tend to find meaning in it, tend to connect with it, try to converse with it, sometimes even try to hold on to it.
Say for example; have you ever hugged a tree in your life? (please do if you haven’t yet) There are so many textures involved in a tree. AND there are crores of species of different trees to observe their unique textures. Anyways, so basically the tree trunk has a variety of texture in it that can be touched, smelled, and seen. It is a kind of wholesome experience. If it’s a tree that you love a lot then that texture becomes a part of your memory.
Yes, we do memory textures!!!; of our old school days notebooks, uniforms, a birthday special dress cloth, the first silk saree or grandma’s oldest one, an old leaf, petals of flowers and the list is unending.
When it comes to painting whether it is realistic or abstract or any kind it’s always a visual depiction of a thought. The thought arouses memories, a thought triggers color play in painting that leads to a particular texture. A texture in a painting not only attracts the viewer’s vision but also makes him visualize deeper, promotes deeper understanding, and overall makes the experience wholesome.
Types of Textures
Textures can be categorized in many ways. Some textures are tactile and some are visual. Tactile textures refer to the actual tangible feel of a surface and visual textures refer to the visual impression that textures produce to a human observer. Here in the article, we are focusing more on tactile textures that are created on canvas or on any other surface during the painting process.
Textures can be hard, soft, smooth, rough, bumpy, prickly, scratchy, silky, wavy, ridge, jagged, bumpy, woven, etc. It’s the artist’s choice and freedom to use them as per requirement. (image credits : Google)
Texture Painting Artists
1. Vincent Van Gogh
A Dutch post-impressionist painter who posthumously became one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In a decade, he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of which date from the last two years of his life. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterized by bold colors and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. Read more about Vincent Van Gogh.
2. Justin Gaffrey
Initially, Justin Gaffrey was a chef. He had his own restaurant but later he became an artist and developed his painting style. Justin Gaffrey blurs the boundaries between paintings and sculptures with his eye-catching landscapes and floral creations. If you see some of his works they are loaded with heavy texture. The 3Dness that he achieves in the paintings is so beautiful, eye-pleasing, and makes the paintings even more inviting. Most of the time he uses acrylic colors and palette knives to create texture on canvas. Read more about Justin Gaffrey.
3. Terese Agnew
Her work has evolved from sculpture to densely embroidered quilts by a process she calls drawing with thread. She works mostly on environmental and social themes. His most famous quilt to date is the Portrait of a Textile Worker. In this quilt, thousands and thousands of clothing labels are stitched together. She took the help of hundreds of sympathetic individuals like students, labor organizations, Junior League members, retired and unemployed workers, friends, family and acquaintances worldwide to stitch the labels together. The resulting image is about the exploitation and abuse of laborers, the by-products of globalization and the insatiable American appetite for goods. Read more about Terese Agnew.
4. Christine Krainock
She paints modern, abstract art, textured palette knife paintings. She paints in an impressionistic impasto style by palette knife creating contemporary fine art florals, flower paintings, tree paintings, landscapes, seascapes, metallic art. Her paintings are contemporary & modern – her abstract oil and mixed media acrylic paintings are created by palette knife, and by her own hand on museum-quality, gallery-wrapped canvas. Each piece is a unique, one-of-a-kind painting, created in her own studio. She was an internationally collected artist, with 100% positive feedback from buyers from all around the world. Read more about Christine Krainock.
The Artist takes complete freedom to use any material to produce texture on a surface he/she is painting. Experiments and explorations are the key factors as any other art would demand to reach a certain level. So the texture painting artist develops an eye for it.
Texture Painting on Wall
“Textured wall” became quite a famous concept around the ’90s. The reason is quite obvious. It is quite affordable and at the same time eye-pleasing if used in a good color combination. The special wall in the room was a trendsetter concept in those days. Trends changes as time passes and textures keep evolving with tools and materials
Many renowned companies like Asian paints train some of their laborers to apply these techniques on walls. With the wide variety of developed tools, these artists apply textures on walls. Generally, a single wall in a sitting area is painted to seek attention.
However there are few DIY tutorials available nowadays for enthusiasts.
How to do Texture Painting?
There are endless ways to apply textures. Let us discuss 2 surfaces and 2 methods of each.
A. Texture Painting on Canvas
i. Texture Painting with a Knife
The knife is really a very powerful tool. You get a variety of them in an art stationery store. They work well with acrylic and oil paints. because of the thick consistency. To prepare you mentally for knife painting let me tell you where you have already applied it. Any guesses? .. Yes, you must have applied butter on a bread slice. The thicker and smoother the butter is, you enjoy applying it right? So let us start with the same consistency of colors and then apply the thicker one and keep on experimenting.
Looking at knives you might stumble at first but don’t worry it is just a try. have a feel of it, enjoy it without being judgemental about it. The knives may remind you of labor doing cement work on an exterior wall. These knives are the smallest version of a tool that the labor handles. But imagine and grasp that confidence in your mind, take color at the backside of the knife, and start applying it on canvas. After some strokes, you will be able to figure out the balance between speed and pushing energy you need.
Wait for some time to let the first layers or strokes dry and then again apply some color with a knife. You will realize that this time the surface is not smooth and it gives a totally different texture AND it works! Just enjoy the process. Slowly this abstraction will start talking with you!
ii. Making Texture with the help of Butter Paper
Take a medium-size canvas, say one foot by one foot. Take a thick acrylic color of your choice. spread it over the full canvas. Then take a crumbled butter paper that will cover the whole area. Spread the paper on canvas. It needs some skill and patience because we want that crumbled texture on canvas. Now wait for a few seconds and start removing the paper from one corner. Complete the process and you will get a nice texture to work on.
B. Texture Painting on Paper
i. Texture Using Tissue Paper
Take an A3 size thick paper. Apply some Fevicol on some part of it. You may consider mixing a bit of water into Favicol to make a thinner consistency. And then apply with the brush. Crumble some tissue papers, make some pieces of them and start pasting them on paper. If the tissue paper is thick then chances are higher that it will finish fast. but you have to be very patient with thin tissue paper. It looks and feels messy at first but if you can enjoy the process, the end result will surely make you happy.
ii. Texture Using Combs
Take an A3 size thick paper. Apply any acrylic color on it. If possible spread evenly and use a palette knife for that to have a thick layer. Take a comb and try drawing different shapes like vertical or horizontal lines, circles, and semi-circles. And believe me, it is so addictive. The process never really ends. Or rather the joy never ends.
Use a variety of comb sizes and tooth openings. Combs can be used with inks, paint, or other media. They can be used to create the linear patterns found in nature, to make patterns of hair or cloth, or to create abstract dotting, swirls, and lines.
If you liked my post and find it valuable, do visit my other blog posts on different topics mentioned below.