Saturday, February 25, 2012


You can feel the skull, smooth here and rough there.  The antlers are heavy, with  the age-worn bases, but smooth beams.

A marbled sky appears smooth, while the knotty upland pine appears rough.

Texture is a portrayal of how objects might feel and it adds an imaginary tactile dimension to a painting.  The illusion can be created using all of the methods at the artist's disposal: line, pattern, style of applying the medium, etc.  Scumbling and glazing are methods that the pastelist uses to make the surface of a painting more lively, and perhaps rough.  I also enjoy blending with my fingers to create smooth areas.

See Richard McKinley's Pastel Pointers on these basic techniques.

With the advent of Modernism, artists began to introduce textural qualities to the surface of paintings.  A new dimension!  Of course artwork had surface texture before, but there now became an interest in focusing on the two dimensional plane for its own sake.