Lesson 15: Texture

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    Class# 15: Texture, Pattern & Print Making  Nov. 17-21, 2014 


    Materials needed:  
Pad of Paper
Banana tree
India Ink
Watercolor paints
A knife (or something else to cut with)

    Texture is avaluable element in the artist’s code book because it engages another sense besides sight. Texture is “tactile,” that is, it appeals to our sense of touch. Artists know this element can appeal to viewers and may try to recreate the illusion of texture, or add real texture to stimulate our tactile nature.  Texture is related to value, in that it’s created by modifying the light on a surface.

Patterns may include decorative patterns such as stripes and zigzags and they are to be found everywhere in nature and in art.  One theory about reoccurring patterns in nature is that they follow the ratio of the Golden Rectangle.  

The Golden ratio should have the mathematical proportions of 1:1.618.  This specific ratio has long been believed to be an aesthetically pleasing proportion and one that produces many interesting patterns in nature.  Here are some examples of patterns that the golden ratio creates in nature:[term]=golden%20ratio&filters[primary]=images&sort=1&o=74

    Let’s look at some examples of different kinds of art that use texture.

    1.           Painting:  The artist Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutchpost-Impressionistpainter whose work had a far-reaching influence on 20th century art for its vivid colors and emotional impact.  Many of these famous paintings incorporate texture into them by the use of paint applied thickly over the canvas.  Also, if you look closely at Van Gogh’s paintings you can see how many lines he has incorporated into his painting which also adds to the texture of the work.  Here are some examples of his work:


    2.           Pen and ink drawings:  Often texture is used by artists who do illustrations

    with pen and ink.  Texture can be achieved with this technique by the use of repeated lines, cross-hatching, hatching, stippling and other techniques.  Here are some examples of this kind of artwork that incorporates texture:

    3.           Photography:  While in painting and illustration artists create texture using the techniques they have mastered, in photography it is the artist’s eye that is most important in seeing texture. 


    4.           Printmaking.  The last process that we are going to look at and the one that you are going to be experimenting with today is printmaking.  Printmaking is the process of making artworksby printing, normally on paper.

    Here are some examples of artwork made using printmaking that have texture and pattern:

    There are many kinds of different printmaking but the majority of them are not available on islands in Micronesia at present.  However, you are going to test a printmaking technique using the materials that you do have available. 
Banana print assignment:
What you will need for this project is your watercolor paper, India ink or watercolor, a knife and a banana tree like this:

    1.           First, cut up the banana tree so that it is thinly sliced round pieces.  You are going to be using the inside of the banana stem, like in this picture, to do printmaking:

    2.           Next, after you have cut up your banana tree, you need to get out your watercolor paper to print on.

    3.           In order to print with the banana stem, you will dip it into either your ink or watercolor paint.  

    4.           Once the banana stem is smeared with paint, press it down onto your paper so that it will leave a mark.  Repeat this process on your paper and notice the different designs it makes.  Try cutting up the banana stem and using different parts to make prints.

    5.           You need to make 5 banana prints with different compositions, textures and patterns.  Use your imagination.  See if you can make a picture with you’re banana printing.


    After you have finished your banana prints you should scan it and upload five onto your Flickr page.  In the Flickr “Description” panel be sure to include that this is your banana print homework.  These paintings should be uploaded to your Flickr page by the Nov. 17.  Any work that has not been uploaded by that time will be considered late and will be marked down one letter grade for each week day it is late.

    This concludes the fourteenth class for AR101.  If you have any questions regarding the material or assignment please email your instructor at

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