Colour, Texture and Composition

March 29, 2018

In the visual world there are different components: Colour, Texture, Shape, Form, Line, Composition and Scale - others too. From these we start to find a way to 'technically' describe anything that's visual. To be clear, in this context I don't mean anything directly to do with meaning, reason, feeling, subjectivity or objectivity - these are something entirely different. In this scope I mean colour to be colour for example - as you see it.


Everything visual has all the components - no matter what it is. The world around us has it all and tells us this. Different artists focus on different ones or don't bother. Sometimes quite deliberately. 


For me I love colour, texture and composition. These form the 'pillars' of my work.


With colour (I love colour!!!) I like playing with the balances, subtle tones and mixtures. Colour is exciting. I have to balance the colour across the canvas. I'm not keen on any one of paintings being too dominated by any one colour. I like deliberately limiting the palette. This keep things more simple and allows for more controlled on canvas blending and I think it's less complicated for the viewer to consume. Up until now the paintings of a particular series have their own palette. For example Creation has paintings all of the same palette but has a different palette to the paintings to say Creation III or Creation V. 


Texture is fantastic. I have to have it in my work and force it. It's a must. It adds that extra dimension to the painting. I think it helps gives the shock factor - visually. Paint itself is a texture and can form thick textures quite easily. I like to force my paintings textures with other things though. Making something rich that compliments the colour, adds contrast and depth.


Composition. This pillar is probably the most challenging. This has to really work and can sometimes be a struggle. My canvases are often reworked because of composition. Sometimes even disposed of. The texture processes I use are permanent. If the texture follows the wrong composition then the canvas is effectively lost - for my purposes anyway. I think a lot of artists struggle with composition and it can create a lot of problems. Just what part of what's in your head or what you're trying to represent are you going to show to the viewer? Classically it's a big part of the story you're telling and the journey you want to take the viewer through the painting. It's difficult and very important.


Well all three have to work together. This forms the synergy. Of course my work contains all the other components, inline with what I've already said and I do pay attention to these as well. I just tend to focus on three I'm talking about here.










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© John Bracey Fine Art