Friday, August 23, 2013

"Surface Texture"

(unavailable.....4" x 6".......on 300 lb. HP......mounted on masonite)

"Texture reveals depth and complexity." It is so true that texture is appealing on so many levels. Otherwise, why would people pay good money to buy antique items with layers and layers of texture?

The funny story I have about texture has to do with the person who stained the concrete floor in my studio. He was very concerned about the "splotchy" surface created by oil stains and paint that had spilled. He was quite relieved that I thought he was doing a great job and that I was totally unconcerned about splotches. My reply was this..."Artists spend hours and many layers to achieve this look so please carry on!"

If you want the perfect segue into abstraction, start collecting your images of all kinds of surface textures. They provide the perfect jumping off point for a piece of art. In the case of today's posting, the image was some kind of industrial looking table with this hole that was probably used for a hose or something. That hole in the metal became the focal point for this small experimental work.  This is probably my most satisfactory way of creating abstraction. Texture is definitely a core part of my voice. If you feel the same way, this is a great exercise.

I began by painting two coats of heavy body black acrylic paint on a piece of 300 lb. HP. After drying these layers thoroughly, I mixed up a gray from Ultramarine Bl. and Burnt Sienna plus White. This mixture of gray is great because you can warm it up or cool it down quite easily. Sponge brushes were used for all of the paint application. After applying this coat of gray, I scribbled lettering and other erratic marks into the paint. Dried with a hair dryer.  Spraying alcohol and removing paint erratically with a brayer created the texture.  You might also use a paper towel to remove larger amounts of paint. The idea is to make it look convincing by abrading the surface as erratically as possible. The other two layers were applied and abraded the same way. They were Burnt Sienna and White Fluid Acrylics.

More marks can also be carved into the surface after the alcohol and brayering is done and before it's dry. As you can see, this technique creates a highly textured surface. It is well worth an experimental piece of your own. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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