Texture in painting
The surface of every object (for example a mug, tree, roof or painting) has a distinctive appearance and feels in a specific way when touched. Gather a few things that have different surfaces, for example a feather, a twig, a leaf and next observe them under a magnifying glass. Will you discover something new?
As we speak about mixing colours we use the word "paint". This is indeed the right word to use, as paint is a physical occurrence formed by for example the dispersing of light in a prism. In painting colours come in the form of PAINT, which is made up of colourful powders, so called pigments and binding agents that join them. The thickness of paint and the way that it shapes on paper or cloth depend on the binding agent. We are familiar with different types of paint and each one of them has its own properties, ones that a good painter knows how to make use of. Let`s take an aquarelle (water-colour) as an example (the name "aqua" already indicates water), whose pigments dissolve in water - it is a transparent paint. It covers the surface of a paper smoothly, it even partly sinks into the paper. The beauty of a painting made with an aquarelle lies in the fact that older paint stains can still be seen when new layers of paint are placed on top. It is easy to obtain an inconceivable richness of colours (illustration 1) with the use of a larger amount of water.
1. Aquarelle (water-colour) 2. Oil paint
In case of tempera the situation is totally different, as it is thick and non-transparent. On paper it doesn`t form thick layers, but the layer it forms is thick enough to be felt with a finger. Colourful stains have clear edges and in opposite to aquarelles they don`t overlap. Oil paint is very popular among painters, whose coloured pigments are spread in a suitable oil. Oil paint is usually used as a covering paint, but the possibilites of shaping it on a piece of cloth are practically endless. One can for example place it perfectly smoothly or form a rough layer, often leaving obvious paint stains (illustration 2). The way paint is placed a cloth is called TEXTURE. In case of aquarelles the texture is entirely smooth, while with tempera or oil paint it can be very different: smooth or restless, giving new, unexpected effects due to the refraction of light on such a surface.
Texture in sculpting
Depending on the material used, as well as methods of shaping it the way sculptures look can be increadibly varied. This is also influenced by their surface, their texture.
3. CONSTANTIN BRANCUSI
Portrait of Miss Pogany
1919 - 1920
4. Wrestler from Uxpanapan
around XIIth - VIth century BC
It is obvious that just like in painting texture depends on the paint and tools used, in sculpting texture is dependent on the raw material. For example - clay is a soft material and is easy to shape (it may be added or taken away in any part of a clay sculpture). The shape of such a sculpture is usually oval, it is made up of gentle curvatures and its texture is nearly perfectly smooth (illustration 3) Totally different to this is the sculpting in wood or rock. Generally speaking the creating of a sculpture is all about chopping wood or dressing stones with the use of special hammers and chisels and next splitting off pieces of the ore or wood. It is however necessary to remember that a wrong incision cannot be corrected. In the end some sculptors polish the surface of their work to make it equally smooth, but many prefer to keep the facture of the piece the way it is. In case of rock the facture can be rough (illustration 4), as that is the way the ore splits. In case of a wooden sculpture traces of the tools used often remain on it (illustration 5), when the artists intends on gaining such an effect.
5. Polish folk sculpture
Sculptures made out of marble can have a varied facture - some are smooth (due to polishing), others rough. It also often happens that the artist wishes to obtain a contrast and therefore polishes only certain parts of his sculpture, like Michelangelo did for example.