Talking Texture

by lesley // posted on Mar 6, 2017

It's not about asking people to paint like me but about explaining my methods of picture making and encouraging each artist to take home a little or a lot of what will help their own art journey.

The focus of these two sessions is how to explain texture using paint as our language.  Wood, leather, glass, fur, metal, etc. all have distinct surface properties that provide the visual information needed to convincingly convey their unique identities.

So many of us dive into the details first, then try to stitch them together into a coherent whole.  My approach is to build the big picture first, later adding details (highlights) that serve to define the form.

I've painted this 8x10 in preparation for the workshop to demonstrate how the final mark making determines the degree to which you're able to convince the viewer of various textures.

In this example there were three textures I wanted to bring to life: hair, leather, glass.

If the pupil and iris of the eye had simply been rendered as being present and in the correct location, but without highlights, you would be looking at a dead horse.  The reflections, abstract shapes and nuanced colours are the final marks that inject life into the eye. (The same principles apply to the hair and leather).

Workshops are an opportunity to grow.  Growth may be accompanied by discomfort or pain but more often than not, the valuable lessons lie outside our comfort zones and we benefit from pushing ourselves beyond our personally perceived limitations.

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