Elements of Art: Texture | KQED Arts


[ MID-TEMPO DRUM BEAT PLAYS ] [ MID-TEMPO MUSIC PLAYS ] Narrator:
WE TEND TO THINK OF ART AS SOMETHING JUST TO LOOK AT, BUT A LOT OF ARTISTS
MAKE THEIR WORK TO STIMULATE OUR OTHER SENSES. SCULPTORS,
TEXTILE AND FABRIC ARTISTS, BOOK MAKERS, CERAMISTS,
AND ARTISTS WORKING IN MANY OTHER FORMS THINK A LOT ABOUT HOW TO ENGAGE
VIEWERS’ SENSE OF TOUCH. EVEN WHEN THEIR ART IS NOT
MEANT TO BE TOUCHED, ARTISTS PUT A LOT OF THOUGHT
AND WORK INTO CREATING
MANY DIFFERENT TEXTURES. TEXTURE IS ONE OF THE SEVEN ELEMENTS OF ART, ALONG WITH LINE, SHAPE, COLOR, FORM, VALUE, AND SPACE. TEXTURE IS THE LOOK OR FEEL
OF A SURFACE. JUST LIKE FORM,
TEXTURE CAN BE REAL OR IMPLIED. IF YOU WERE TO RUN YOUR HAND ACROSS THIS SCULPTURE
BY ALBERTO GIACOMETTI, YOU WOULD FEEL THE HARDNESS
OF THE BRONZE METAL AND THE ROUGHNESS OF THE FORM
THAT GIACOMETTI CREATED. THIS IS CALLED ACTUAL TEXTURE. IMPLIED TEXTURES
ARE ONLY VISUAL. THEY CAN’T BE FELT. FOR INSTANCE,
IF YOU COULD TOUCH THE CANVAS OF THIS SELF-PORTRAIT
BY CHUCK CLOSE, YOU WOULDN’T FEEL THE VARIED
TEXTURES OF SKIN AND HAIR. YOU WOULD FEEL THE SMOOTHNESS
OF THE OIL PAINT. SO THESE TEXTURES ARE IMPLIED
BECAUSE WE CAN ONLY SEE THEM. THERE ARE COUNTLESS WAYS THAT
ARTISTS CREATE IMPLIED TEXTURES. HOW MANY DIFFERENT KINDS
OF LINES DO YOU NOTICE IN THIS PAINTING
BY ROY DE FOREST? YOU HAVE THE ZIGZAG LINES CREATING A WOMAN’S HAIR
ON THE LEFT, CROSS-HATCHING
CREATING HER SKIN, THE BLURRED, SMUDGED COLORS
COMING OUT OF THE DOG’S MOUTH AND THE MAN’S MOUTH
IN THE CENTER. THOSE ARE JUST TO NAME A FEW
KINDS OF IMPLIED TEXTURES HERE. TEXTURES CAN ALSO BE CREATED
THROUGH USE OF SHAPES. IN THIS PAINTING
BY GUSTAV KLIMT, NOTICE HOW HE REPEATS SHAPES
TO CREATE TEXTURES. YOU HAVE THE TRIANGLES AND LINES ON THE WOMAN’S DRESS
ON THE LEFT, THE MANY SPIRALS CREATING
THE TREE IN THE CENTER, AND IN THE WOMAN’S DRESS
ON THE RIGHT, YOU HAVE CIRCLES WITHIN CIRCLES,
RECTANGLES WITHIN SQUARES, AND ALL THE SCATTERED SHAPES
THROUGHOUT THE PIECE CREATE MANY DIFFERENT TEXTURES. PAINTINGS AND OTHER TYPICALLY
TWO-DIMENSIONAL ART CAN HAVE ACTUAL TEXTURE. SOMETIMES ARTISTS LAYER PAINT
ON THE CANVAS SO THICK THAT IT BECOMES
THREE-DIMENSIONAL. AT THAT POINT, THE PAINT
IS A SCULPTURAL ELEMENT THAT CAN BE MANIPULATED
AND SHAPED. SOME ARTISTS BUILD UP FABRICS,
TEXTILES, JEWELRY, AND MANY OTHER OBJECTS
ON THE CANVAS TO CREATE ADDITIONAL TEXTURES. ARTISTS OFTEN FEATURE
THE NATURAL TEXTURES OF THE MATERIALS THEY USE OR TEXTURES UNIQUELY CREATED
AND FORMED BY HAND. WHATEVER THE APPROACH, TEXTURES ARE AN EXPRESSIVE TOOL
ARTISTS USE TO REINFORCE
THEIR OVERALL MESSAGES. THE NEXT TIME YOU’RE MAKING
A PAINTING, DRAWING, COLLAGE, OR SCULPTURE, FIND A WAY
TO INCORPORATE TEXTURES THAT SAY SOMETHING RELEVANT
AND IMPORTANT TO YOU.

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