Braque and Textural Techniques in Cubism
The Cubists introduced a whole new approach to texture in painting. In the work of artists like Braque, Picasso, Gris and others, actual texture bordering on bas relief interacted with trompe l’oeil, making the paint itself an integral part of both image and content.
Georges Braque applied his early training as a decorator to easel painting, incorporating techniques like imitation wood grain, sgraffito and the use of textural fillers like sand and sawdust.
According to his friend and biographer John Richardson:
“Braque could not achieve this degree of tactile perfection if he did not take the utmost care over the priming of his canvases. ‘”The priming,” he once said,”is at the basis of everything else, just like the foundations of a house.”
Other painters of the period were inspired to include bold textural inclusions in their primings and in passages of impasto. Joan Miro once wrote in his journal: “.. Look to Braque as a model of everything that is skill, serenity and reflection.”
The introduction in the mid-20th century of acrylic dispersion artists’ paints made bold textures easier to achieve and more durable than with traditional media. Products like Utrecht Acrylic Pumice Medium can be mixed directly with colors or applied underneath to create a huge range of effects: http://www.utrechtart.com/Utrecht-Pumice-Stone-Gel-Medium-MP3212-i1001641.utrecht
Utrecht Pumice Medium has a soft neutral color which is easily masked in mixtures. This product dries with the appearance of sandy, traditional fresco, but retains the full flexibility and adhesive strength of acrylics.