Examining Textures In Contemporary Art

Examining Textures in Contemporary Art

Contemporary Art

Trying to define the textures in contemporary art can be quite tricky because the term “contemporary art” has a lot of varying themes, so it’s hard to distinguish. However, it is possible to break it down to its roots to get a handle on identifying it.

In layman’s terms, the term “contemporary art” refers to the style of artwork that we see today. Some examples are photography, illustration, videos, and even performance arts. When you break it down on that level, it’s a rather simple concept. The main thing that’s debated is when the contemporary period started.

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With that said, let’s shift the focus to textures. Artists use textures to express dimension and depth in an image. Painting is done through brush strokes, but at its very core, the texture of art is the “feel” of the piece. So a sculptured texture would be defined as how it feels against your hands.

7 Elements Of Art

Defining Texture of Contemporary Artwork

Texture is an artistic tool designed to appeal to the senses of an audience. It will prompt specific emotions like pleasure or discomfort. Artists use texture to elicit a particular emotional response from the audience. Think of a rock. We know that a rock can have several different feelings. It can be smooth or jagged. A rock also feels hard when picked up. So an artist understands this and will use texture to convey those feelings when painting it. This is done through colors and shapes – sometimes brush strokes can be used to enhance it.

Contemporary Art Texture

Examining 3D Art Textures in Contemporary Art

3D artwork is heavily dependent on texture, but artists us a bit more of a logical approach here. They use materials that match the intended feeling they are trying to prompt. It starts with a base material like marble, clay, or even metal so this is the first part you should examine. What foundation are they using to build their texture?

After that, an artist can take it a step further and add even more texture to this foundation.  Sometimes it’s smoothed using polishing or buffing. There are also rough textures created through bleach and gouge. Both are designed to give a different feel to the artwork.

Contrasting textures is also a technique used by most artists. They will make one area of the art rough and rigid, while certain areas are buffed to make them smooth.

Examining 2D Art Textures in Contemporary Art

While all textures in 3D artwork are considered “real” since they are translated into 3D, the textures in 2D artwork can be either real or implied. For example, photographers use the environment to capture realistic textures for their images. They can further play on these textures using lighting and angles.

However, painters will add implied textures by using specific brush strokes. We see this in a technique called crosshatching.

Another painting technique used is the impasto painting technique. Artists use this to create real and dynamic textures.

Artists play around with texture using whatever medium and materials are at their disposal. So you might see something completely random or unexpected.

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Texture Has a Profound Impact on the Meaning of Artwork

So there are a couple of questions that we’re going to address here. The first of which is whether or not texture affects the meaning of the artwork. As you might have guessed from the subheading, it does.

Remember that the core of texture is to elicit feelings from artwork. What emotions are we going to experience when touching the surface of the piece? Texture defines the surface of an object, but art can be done through perception. In other words, how do we think it would feel to touch the painting physically? It’s a certain duality between actually touching the art and visually observing it. Artists use materials and styles to create an optical illusion of sorts through their craft.

Let’s take a look at the four main types of textures in contemporary art.

Real Textures

Several types of real-world textures can be used by artists. We’ve seen some people use tree bark to present a rough texture or sandpaper to smooth a surface. These are both examples of real textures because it’s possible actually to feel the texture with touch. In a lot of cases, artists reserve real textures for a collage.

Implied Textures

This is the exact opposite of a real texture because the artist will use their skills to render a specific texture, but if you were actually to touch the area then it wouldn’t feel that way. Simulated or implied textures are used in paintings, drawings, and animation to convey specific feelings. They are designed to deceive the audience into believing that the texture is real.

Abstract Textures

Artists will use abstract textures to mimic the surface of a real object by utilizing a combination of real and implied textures. The artist will generally do this is very unconventional ways. They simplify the texture of an object by converting it to its purest form. For example, they might represent the texture of an object using only lines and shapes. Abstract textures are the most popular texture found in contemporary art.

Abstract Art

Invented Texture

Artists can also create their textures in very creative ways by using unseen or original textures to match the style of their work. In short, an invented texture is not found in the physical world. They are perceived, creative, and, when done correctly will send out imaginations soaring. You’ll see invented textures in pencil art and animations.

Painting the Whole Picture

The Artwork Abode team has seen thousands of powerful, creative techniques used in contemporary art that has created breathtaking art. The texture is one of the most powerful tools at an artist’s disposal. They use it to evoke an emotional reaction from their audience.

This same concept can also be translated into fully digital designs. Creating implied textures will allow a digital artist to create the illusion of touch and creates a powerful visual experience.

I am a former Animator and Graphic Designer who has worked on many International and Domestic projects and Tv series and E-learning projects. I created Animation Alerts so that people who are struggling to learn animation can learn this craft and grow together.