Nina's Textile Trail

My OCA Textile Tales

Textiles 1 – A Creative Approach – Building a Visual Vocabulary – Project 1, Stage 3 Using marks to create surface textures

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Exercise 1

Making marks to create surface textures, working from an image, not trying to copy the texture but trying to understand the feeling and making an equivalent, or an analogy.

Using the following image, I attempted to create a texture.

grass star2

The top left drawing in pencil below shows my first attempt, which I abandoned in favour of a picture of some bark for which I used coloured pencils (middle picture, left hand column). Although the colours weren’t a good match there was some success in creating texture, but I wasn’t really happy with my efforts and had a rushed attempt at the same picture to the right of the bark in black and silver pen.  I then had another go at the dandelion picture in the bottom left, using pen and ink and then used some fine coloured Sharpies, second picture from the left along the bottom.


I found this exercise frustrating. I wasn’t very relaxed and lacked confidence, which made me more tense and irritated.  I felt a real sense of not be able to produce any texture or draw.  To get back into a more positive frame of mind I tried a quick sketch from a photograph using pen and ink and gave it a wash with watercolour once it was dry.  I’ve never done anything like that before and was quite pleased with the results.  I could see that with more time and consideration I could produce a reasonable piece of work using pen and ink to create texture.

Although slightly reassured, I was still suffering from a lack of confidence in my drawing skills so decided to work with collage.  I used a small section from an image very similar to the following.



With the exception of the top right hand picture and the one beneath it, these were all attempts at creating an analogy of the texture of the bark.  I felt I was far more successful with this technique.  The example in the top left of the photo was one of the best.  It was produced with a combination of pale tissue paper and torn textured wall paper and coloured with acrylic paint. The third from the left on the top row was also reasonable, using watercolour paint and matt medium to reduce the reflective nature of the surface.  In the second row, second picture, coloured decorated papers were used with the patterns on each paper contributing to the texture acheived.

The four in the bottom row were drawn.  the first and third being the most successful.  The first used coloured pencil and oil pastel which acted as a resist so when washed with watercolour paint a good surface texture resulted and the third used oil pastels, a fineliner and a toothbrush and finger to create texture.

Exercise 2

Making marks to create surface textures, working from an object, not trying to copy the texture but trying to understand the feeling and making an equivalent, or an analogy.

Using a woven shopping basket, the following examples were produced with a rubbing technique.  Although all the pictures suggested a sense of texture, none really captured the true texture of the bag.  The bottom left rubbing with a Conte 2B pencil onto tissue paper was the better of the three.


A scallop shell was used in the following and the most successful rubbing for detail was the Conte 2B pencil onto white tissue paper (top right), although the Markal paintstik with a toothbrush gave a sense of the smoothness which accompanied the ridges on the shell (bottom right)


Continuing with the rubbing theme, various media were used to produce the texture of a stone.


The example on the right was most successful.  It was produced on a neutral coloured tissue paper using a combination of wax crayon and coloured pencils.
Feeling guilty that I had avoided ‘drawing’, the following were drawn using oil pastels and paintstiks, coloured pencil and watercolours from two different stones and both were a reasonably successful.

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