For this Assignment rather than take inspiration from artists who painted and drew animals, trees or outdoors. I thought about Impasto painting. My Mother is in a Care home and I have seen various paintings on the wall which are textured and tactile, their ability to encourage me to touch them, fascinates me. This set me thinking about concentrating on adding texture to my drawing and to look at artists past and present who used at this technique. There are various reasons texture can be used in artwork. It can be an attempt to give depth, texture add another dimension to the light falling onto a chosen subject, and draw attention to a particular part of the picture, or enhances movement. With the thicker medium this can be done by using the paint straight from the tube, adding sand and undelaying with paper and various other options. With drawing there are various methods, which are largely down to preparing the base of your support using texture, this can be achieved by painting it with something like Gesso or layering with other support materials. This creates the texture before the drawing is applied. More texture can be added between layers and the process can be repeated. I looked at various works of art and artists and feel I will experiment with both collage and gesso.
I was amazed at how many artists past and present use some form of texture in the paintings and drawings. The one that came to mind straight off was a self-portrait by Rembrandt 1659. This link shows the brush strokes used well and the Impasto can be seen clearly on the face. Bold brush marks with thick paint cause a texture which brings life and light to the subject in the area of the face. It causes the eye to look direct at the face which has a life like glow. It is in contrast to the painted canvass that surround the face where the paint seems to show the grain of the support below.
Lucien Freud is another who’s Impasto work can be seen. He is an artist suggested by my Tutor to look at and I have chosen the painting of A Filly a horse he had owned. Its coat has multi-angled brushstrokes emphasize the look of a heavy haired animal, which has gone through the winter and is finding it itchy as it is cast. It has that enjoyed a roll in the straw or mud look. His mustard coloured walls contrast beautifully with the horse, and you can almost see the strands of straw on the ground.
Impasto can also be seen in Van Gogh’s work, with his brush strokes the texture and mark seem to describe movement and atmosphere. His mark and brush work are clear and directional they seem to show the viewer a different dimension to the subject and a movement within the still snapshot of time.
The Olive Orchard shown in one of the links seems to have a tapestry affect the brushwork almost like the stiches within the picture. It has a gentle rhythm about it. Nothing sinister it reminds me of the heat haze and gentle breeze blowing through the Olive Groves I used to visit in Greece.
John Constable also used impasto style. In his depiction of Hadleigh Castle in the link below it shows how he used textured layers to paint the picture. The mood created in this painting is amazing. I must say how much I enjoy using the magnification to actually see the brush strokes and layering. I didn’t realise the little boats in the picture until I looked under magnification. I have always loved his work and have also included his painting The Cenotaph which shows his textured brushstrokes bring another dimension to the trees, his deer adds to the drama with its powerful antlers and strong muscular body almost blending in with the surroundings, something I have noticed when sketching them of late.
There are a number of contemporary artists I have taken inspiration from. One artist I enjoyed for his use of mixed media and a seemingly continuous experimentation with texture and application he is called Ian Murphy. His paintings and drawings have a second dimension for the viewer, they are of limited palette and hold great drama and movement, but most of all seem to take on a life of their own.
There are many artist who’s work I looked at in my study of applying texture and depth to drawing, but I was inspired by a collaborated piece of work by Matt Shane and Jim Holyoaks called Quagmire which was different in its application. An amazing work that fills the walls of a room and then they applied collage to the drawing which gave a depth and movement and drama.
Last an artist whom I discovered very recently, I am not one for a lot of colour but the expression, movement and mood produced by and artist called Iris Scott is amazing. She paints using her fingers and reminds me in part of the way Van Gogh worked each mark applied with her fingers is not only a meaningful application of texture, also colour and light, she uses colour as a contrast and light giving an amazing effect. I was spellbound the first time I saw one of her shaking dogs, but her landscape Whispering Wheat has a glow and like the sun, gives that holiday feeling we all get on a sunny day.
When I started looking at texture in art I never thought I would come across so much work where artists have used it in one method or another and I am to a point overwhelmed with the amount I have looked through and have had to make some difficult choices as to the ones I have mentioned.