Texture | Organizing the Random

Project Objectives

Develop visual understanding of the differences between subject matter and form.

Intentionally transform a representational design into an abstract or non-representational design to convey Content.

Develop visual understanding of the Element of Design Texture.

Explore creative thinking and the influence of chance in design.

Develop awareness of your own creative process.

Apply the Elements of Design and Principles of Organization learned.

Develop visual understanding of Form and Content Unity.

Project Description

In this project you continue to exercise ways to abstract from Subject Matter while focusing on Form by exploring Texture and evoke a sense of Touch creating visual interest in a design. Tactile texture is actual texture that can be felt with your hand; visual texture is the illusion of texture, a flat surface that appears to have a varied surface. Visual texture uses variation of line and repetition. For this project, we will explore how to use texture to create further interest in the designs we make.

You will investigate how the element of chance may be used as a starting point when creating an artwork. Each element within your design will be chosen at random; you will then use your random choices to create a design with a dynamic composition using all of the Elements of Design and Principles of Organization you have learned. You will also choose a word at random. This word will serve as the concept (content) for your piece. For example, if you choose the word “frigid”, your task will be to create a design that eludes to the word “frigid”. Form and content should always be carefully utilized to support the idea behind your piece.

Creative Brainstorming: Specific techniques for generating many ideas and possibilities either individually or collectively. Creative brainstorming encourages a non-judgmental attitude, rapid generation of ideas, record-keeping, and a willingness to push to the edges for strange and unexpected possibilities within a limited time-frame.

Form and Content: Elements of Design and Principles of Organization can and should reinforce the Content (and Subject Matter) of any work. Content may include your emotional, intellectual, symbolic spiritual and/or narrative intentions. Unity of Form and Content is important in communicating an idea or message featured in any work of art or design.

Required Materials

Unconventional Materials | Found Objects 9" x 12" Drawing Paper 14” x 17” Bristol Board Sketchbook HB Pencil Eraser Ruler PITT Pen Rubber Cement

Step-by-step Directions

Part 1:

Step 1: Complete

Exercise 1 | Line Systems & Value
Exercise 2 | Texture

Step 2: In your sketchbook create four (4) collage compositions in 4" x 6" thumbnails frames with at least five (5) textures where three (3) are from the objects/textures you emulated in Exercise 2 | Texture.

Note the Following:

Each composition should include at least 3 different found textures (minimum of 5 textures.)

Design the textures into interesting shapes; think about figure/ground relationships when creating these compositions.

You can overlap textures.

Fill out the whole field with the textures.

Step 3: Present the designs you created to Prof. Jacques and set them aside.

Part 2:

Step 4: In class choose a number at random in each of the four categories provided in class.

Step 5: In your sketchbook write the numbers you selected in each category.

Step 6: Check with the chart below what each of your numbers correspond to:

Blue: Shape
1- Circles
2- Triangles
3- Squares/Rectangles
4- Biomorphic Shapes

Red: Design Focus
1- Repetition
2- Implied Line
3- Directional Conflict
4- Visual Texture

Green: Word
Your Design's Emotional Content
1- Aggressive
2- Graceful
3- Anxious
4- Ephemeral

Yellow: Unconventional Material
1- Black Tape
2- Black Thread & Needle
3- Reinforcement Stickers
4- Twist Tie - White or/and Black

Step 7: In your sketchbook write the name of the corresponding elements you picked.

Part 3:

Step 8: In the collage sketches you created on Part 1 in your sketchbook add the unconventional material and the shape you picked aiming to express the content (word) you need to convey. How can you use it to create line, value, shape, and/or texture?

Step 9: In your sketchbook using your PITT pens and collage, make use of at least three textures (one has to be tactile and one has to be visual), and your unconventional material, to create at least six (6) 3" x 4" thumbnail sketches that incorporate each of the random elements that you chose. The design may include other elements as well. Remember that your goal is to create a visually interesting design with the following criteria:

a unified and dynamic composition
a focal point
variation of line
broad value scale (refer to the value scales you created)
figure/ground relationships
sense of space
the entire picture plane should be activated

Other design tools to consider utilizing:
directional dominance
texture (visual &/or actual)
the grid

Step 10: On 9” x 12” Drawing paper recreate your strongest composition using PITT pens and collage, tactile and visual textures, along with your unconventional material to convey the random elements that you chose. Your design should take up the entire page, don’t forget to consider all of your negative space!

Step 11: Mount your final drawing on a 14” x 17” Bristol board using rubber cement glue. Make sure the drawing is centered on the Bristol board by creating guidelines with pencil before gluing. In pencil, write the four random elements you used in the design (Shape, Design Focus, Word/Content, Unconventional Material).

Project Considerations

Is the composition non-representational?

Is the composition asymmetrical?

Are all areas of the picture plane activated?

Has a strong directional dominance been established?

Have I established a directional conflict?

Are there any implied lines in my composition?

Are there shapes created by the textures promoting interesting figure/ground relationships?

Is depth being created with textured value gradations, perspective, overlapping, continuation and repetition?

Does the design include a primary focal point? Where is it located and how is the focal point emphasized? Refer to the rule of thirds and the “How to Create a Focal Point” handout.

Is the composition dynamic? Has a Visual Flow that activates the entire picture plane been established ? What elements are used to lead the eye around the entire composition?

Does your design incorporate each at least three textures where one is tactile and one is visual?

Does your design incorporate each of the design words you chose at random and your unconventional material.

Does your design include a full value range and display variation of line and mark-making?

Do you convey your concept through the use of design elements and composition? Your concept is the word that you chose at random.

Has the final design been executed in a professional manner? Designs should utilize the designated materials with care, effort, and attention to detail. This includes proper mounting to Bristol Board.

CRAFTSMANSHIP is extremely important for each of your designs and is part of the grading criteria. Do not fold, bend, crease, smudge, tear your artworks! Always take great care when creating each design and then put directly into your portfolio case.

What is Craftsmanship? Care in construction and finishing; demonstration of skill and knowledge of processes; attention to detail. The quality of design and work shown in something that is made by hand.

Project Delivery

Created Exercises 1 & 2.
Created four texture collages with at least five textures in the sketchbook.
Picked and wrote the four chosen categories in your sketchbook.
Edited the four texture collages sketches to experiment with the unconventional material.
Created six thumbnail sketches following the project's considerations and incorporating each of the random elements that you chose.
Created final artwork.
Presented final drawing mounted on Bristol board.

Grading Criteria

This project is worth 8 10 points.
Projects will be graded based on the criteria listed below.

  1. Craftsmanship: Has the final design been executed in a professional manner?
  2. Materials: Does the design utilize the designated materials with care, effort, and attention to detail.
  3. Composition: Does the design apply basic elements and principles of composition (activate the entire picture plane, adhere to the rule of thirds, and establish a focal point and visual flow)?
  4. Elements of Design: Does the design utilize line, shape, space and texture? Are the elements of design interesting on their own?
  5. Principles of Organization: Does the design utilize principles of organization to unify the elements of design (line, shape, space, value, and texture)? Principles of organization include negative/positive space, figure/ground relationships, contrast, repetition, emphasis, and directional forces.
  6. Illusion of Depth: Does the design demonstrate an understanding and ability to apply basic concepts of illusion of depth (line systems, perspective, value gradation, shaped value gradation, overlapping, repetition, continuation)?
  7. Form & Content: Does the design utilize non-representational form, design elements, and texture to convey the "Word" ( content)?
  8. Punctuality: Were all parts of the project delivered on time?

Project 6 | Texture Assessment Form

Each bullet point will be graded on the following scale:

  • 1 point: Exceeds Standards
  • 0.75 point: Meets Standards
  • 0.5 point: Approaches Standards
  • 0.25 point: Does Not Meet Standards
  • 0 points: Did not complete

Maximum Point total: 8 10 Points

Exercise 1 | Line Systems and Value Gradation is worth 2 3 points

Exercise 2 | Texture is worth 2 4 points

Extra-credit Sketchbook is worth 0.75 point:
Presented/Texted thumbnail collages to Prof. Jacques. (0.25 point).
Created four thumbnails sketches to experiment with the unconventional material (0.25 points).
Created six thumbnail sketches following the project's considerations and incorporating each of the random elements that you chose (0.25 point).

Related Presentations

Project 6 | E-portfolio

Self-Critique Questions
Artwork Documentation
Writing Assignment
E-Portfolio Notes

Project 6 | Resources

Project 6 Printable Hand-out [PDF]

Texture [PDF]

Line Systems & Value Gradation

Project 6 | Texture Assessment Form

Project 6 | Related Reading

Design Basics: Texture

Project 6 | Sample Work

Project 6 | Sample Preliminary Collage

Project and some Student Samples appropriated from Prof. Mahr, Westchester Community College, NY