Photo Class – Foundations of Art Lesson #1 – Texture
I’m a few months into my new practice of cross training my creativity and I have something big to share with you. My recent forays in painting, creative writing, collage, interior design, and photography have caused me to look back at long-forgotten (or perhaps long-internalized?) lessons in the basic foundations of art. One of the advantages of working in several art forms at once is that you start to see all art differently and you begin to break it all down into its most basic, universal elements. When you start to see these elements in all art, then the art you create stands upon stronger foundations. Over the next few months I plan to share mini lessons in the basic foundations with you. I know it will help to make you a better photographer, artist, and art aficionada!
Lesson One – Texture
[Highly textured Florentine Door – Firenze, Italia – July 2010]
[Detail of Keyhole Highly textured Florentine Door – Firenze, Italia – July 2010]
Definition: Texture is the visual and/or tactile quality of an object.
Discovering Texture in Art Challenge:
- Choose a photo that you’ve made or a piece of artwork that you own. [Note: this exercise works best with non-abstract art.]
- Imagine touching the art that is before you. Is it soft? smooth? rough? gnarly? silky? malleable? tough? hard? dull? sparkly? Come up with as many adjectives as you can to describe the texture of the piece. Look deeply into the details.
- If the piece you’re working with is not a reproduction: Close your eyes and actually run your (very clean, dry, and lotion-free) hands over the surface of the art. What additional words come to mind? Does it feel like you expected it to? If the piece you’re working with is a reproduction: Close your eyes and imagine that you are the artist and that you are in the middle of creating the piece. You are standing before the physical object that inspired the art that you are creating. You close your eyes and caress this object. What additional descriptive words come to mind? How do you think the texture of the actual physical object inspired the artist?
- Photo Challenge: Explore your home, garden, and/or your neighborhood for examples of amazing texture. Spend time exploring the texture with your eyes, your mind, and your hands prior to shooting. Focus the intention of your image on texture alone.