As many of the students already know, texture is Ms. Bomba’s favorite Element of Art. Why, you ask? Texture is not only seen, it can be felt as well! Works of art with texture beg the viewer to look closer, ask questions about process, and envision what the artist was trying to convey when including materials and techniques that engage our senses.
Students in grades K-1 also know that texture is not always felt, it is sometimes only seen. Artists use visual texture to imply a feeling in their work but when actually explored on a surface such as canvas, may not exist. Artists create visual textures by using lines, shapes, and patterns to fool the eye. Actual textures, the ones you can truly feel, are built up on the surface of materials by carving, layering, or treating the surface with tools and chemicals. Some artists apply paint in thick layers, others carve deeply into clay, and some artists add fur or bead work to entice the viewer through feel.
Arcimboldo’s painting above is a fine example of visual texture. The portrait looks as if it would feel rough like tree bark or itchy like wheat if touched, when in reality, it only appears that way. The canvas would be smooth if you ran your hand across it.
David Alvarez’ Porcupine demonstrates actual texture. Touching this work of art would result in some sharp prickles!
Our Maury artists in Kindergarten and 1st grade had fun collecting visual textures throughout the studio during our texture hunts. They made rubbings of actual textures that then became visual textures on paper.
In this project, students spent weeks building the layers of texture upon their canvases using tissue paper, glue, acrylic paint and oil pastels. They applied their knowledge of color theory to make successful color choices when placing complimentary colors side by side.
Students did not disappoint Ms. Bomba with their application and interpretation of texture in their art work. If anything, she fell even more in love with works of art that demonstrate strong examples of texture!
These 3D paintings beg the viewer to ask, “How’d they do that? What did they use? Can I touch it?” Enjoy with your eyes and begin to notice texture around your everyday environments. You’ll be shocked to observe how many different examples of visual and actual textures you encounter each day!