Texture: Aaron Scofield

Page 21 from Lynda Barry’s graphic novel, What It Is

In Graphic Design: The New Basics, Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips describe texture as the “tactile grain of surfaces and substances” (69). I like this definition because when I think about texture, what comes to mind is the individual grains of a particular surface that help define that texture. Those individual grains can be smooth, rough, soft, sharp, and a variety of other different textures. Different textures can be used to give us an understanding of how something feels or how it differs in appearance from something else. In her graphic novel, What It Is, Lynda Barry discusses her life and how she came to find herself as both a writer and an artist, or in other terms, graphic novelist. She talks about how she wasn’t treated well in her youth and how her struggles helped her become who she is today. There is no doubt that Lynda Barry’s work is very creative and many of the concepts she uses are difficult to understand. On page 21 of her book, she uses several different textures while telling her story. There are birds that have a more smooth, watercolor paint texture and then there’s another bird that is drawn with a lot greater detail. Lines, colors, and different shades help define a feathery texture on the bird. Lynda also uses a good amount of texture in her text. Some of the text that is on this page is drawn in marker with thicker lines, while some other pieces of text are drawn in pencil or pen. At the bottom of the page, she even uses a typed out font that looks like it has come out of a book based on the tan, grainy, book-like texture that the text is laying on. According to Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips, texture can be either physical or virtual. Artists can take pictures of physical objects with unique textures and then attempt to recreate that picture digitally, or virtually, with some sort of editing software like Adobe.

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