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Visual Texture in Painting and Drawing

Updated: Nov 20, 2021

The sensation of touching different objects can create feelings both physically and emotionally. Imagine how it feels to such a smooth waxy skin of an apple compared to the fluffy fur of a dog. In two-dimensional art, we can describe these feelings with textures. Texture is an important element of art.

Young artist painting an apple (left) Young artist is painting a dog (right)

These subjects have very different textures, so artists may choose to paint or draw them in different ways. Visual texture in two-dimensional art is used to imply the texture of a subject in an art piece. Artists choose different techniques to render their subjects and describe those textures visually. These decisions are what make every art piece a unique work.

Beyond the subject being described, the medium itself can add another layer of texture. The way the mediums are handled can add more texture to the work. This can be referred to as tactile texture. Some artists may choose to exaggerate this effect with additional media such as gel mediums. Texture, or the absence of texture, will create very different feeling artworks.

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