Facture denotes the manner in which a work of art is made, it is actually an artistic as well as technical process. It implies the way a particular surface, material is treated so it could become the work of art, in other words, it expresses the “handwriting” of an artist. It may be argued it is found in almost all elements of art.
In painting, it refers to the way colors are applied with a paint brush to a certain painting surface.
High density paint coat that wrinkles and is very fragile, making brush strokes very visible, is called impasto, while light, almost transparent layers of paint are the main feature of the lazure technique.
This unique handwriting of an artist is also evident in modern art. The most famous example of “the impasto handwriting” was left to us by Vincent Van Gogh who used not only paint brush, but his fingers as well to apply colour. In this way he pushed a painting into three-dimensional sculptural rendering as though he was making a painting for the blind.
When it comes to sculpture, facture refers to the construction itself, i.e. to the way some material is treated, wether by chisel blows, modelling (clay), grinding or some other way.
Facture, being the handwriting of an artist, can serve as a method for recognizing an artistic style and it definitively represents one of the ways a particular author (artist) expresses through his works, in addition to composition, theme, message one would like to convey, which combined together make each particular work of art unique.