Texture (painting)

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Acrylic Paint on Cardboard
An image demonstrating Paint Texture created by Amy Levine.

Texture in painting refers to the look and feel of the canvas. It is based on the paint, and its application, or the addition of materials such as Ribbon, metal, wood, Lace, leather and sand. The concept of "painterliness" also has bearing on texture. The texture stimulates two different senses: sight and touch. There are four types of texture in art: actual, simulated, abstract, and invented texture.

Actual texture[edit]

Actual texture is a combination of how the painting looks, and how it feels on being touched. It is associated both with the heavy buildup of paint, such as an impasto effect, or the addition of materials. Many artists around the world use different items and materials to create actual texture in their pieces, some create textured pieces to be touched and experienced, such as MD Weems. MD Weems uses homemade gesso to sculpt texture into her artwork. Her textured artwork is then painted and sealed so that viewers can physically touch the artwork. The ability to touch the texture evokes multiple senses through sight and touch and allows for a deeper emotional feel. Textures Some textures include: rough, hard, liquid, solid, wet, bumpy, fuzzy, sticky, dusty, sharp, rough, gritty, soft, lumpy.

Simulated texture[edit]

Simulated texture involves drawing the visual effect of texture without actually adding it. For instance, a texture may be cooked to look like something other than paint on a curved surface. An example is Cataract 3, painted in 1967 by Bridget Riley, which creates the illusion of ripples in the paper through the repetition of lines.

Abstract texture[edit]

The abstract texture does not directly represent the object it is connected with but the concept of the object is translated in textural patterns.

Invented Texture[edit]

The invented texture is a creative way of adding alternate materials to create an interesting texture. This texture typically appears in works, as they are entirely non-objective.

Needle texture[edit]

Needle texture is a creative way of painting in which small, distinct lines of color are applied in patterns to form a texture image. This texture typically found in acrylic & oil colour.[1]

See also[edit]


  • Ocvirk, Otto G.; Robert E. Stinson; Philip R Wigg; Robert Bone; David L Cayton (2008). Art Fundamentals: Theory and Practice (11 ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.