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Texture Painting Techniques

Saptakee Sengupta
Using textures in paintings implies an immense stretching of your imaginative mind. There are broad texture painting techniques that can be molded in different forms.
Texture gives definition to paintings. While it's a very difficult element to define, it still forms one of the most important attributes of this art. In one sentence, adding texture gives character to a painting. It can be understood in a broader sense and not the mere roughness or smoothness of art work, reducing the piece to mundane.
It implies to the subtle gradations or gradients of surface differences created by the artist to enliven his work of art. It's created by the differential use of brush strokes along with various tools and colors. For this, you need to understand the texture painting techniques, and then bring the desired effect in your creation.


Using textures can be done by expanding your creative skills and applying them. You need to study the works of famous painters and observe how they used the strokes of brush to bring out the best in their artistic work.


The style can be smooth or rough, depending upon the brushstrokes. For smooth and even patterns, you can use swift brushstrokes with soft bristles. For a rough pattern, brush stokes are hard, broad, and impulsive. The "expressionistic" fashion involves the use of rough strokes and creates a dynamic visual effect.
Dry brush and wet brush techniques are also used. Brushing with heavy colors creates a heavy pattern, while mild ones can be done by gliding the brush smoothly. Shading is one of the most important aspect.


You need to expand your knowledge about the painting surface. A rough canvas or recycled paper gives different effect than smooth papers. Similarly, glass, wooden, faux, wall mural, rag paintings, and frescoes are other bases where different techniques are applied to bring different effects.
Gessoed paper, carpets, and newspaper also create provocative designs. You need to have a fair idea about their depth and length. They are also created to give a multi-dimensional effect.


Different types of tools can be used. Acrylic paints, oil paints, fabrics, and water colors are different forms used to bring out the best designs. Adding coats, adhesives, and pigments also give a unique design. Scraping and spraying are few methods.
Other techniques involve splattering, graffito, stamped, and back wash. Salt, silica foam, alcohol, and tissue paper fall under advanced categories of texture creation. There are many other tools that are also merged with the painting to create different effects. Tea leaves, salt, pasta, egg shell, collage, cling film, sand, sugar, rice, etc., are also used.

A Visual Illusion

If you are passionate about painting, you must observe the works of Vincent Van Gogh. His works are excellent examples of this technique and bold delineation of designs. Oil paint applied in thick, visceral coats in canvas form exquisite patterns.
Each shade and each stroke add style to the art form. These techniques are extremely subtle, and if not used harmoniously, it can become a negative factor for painter and his work, a technically imperfect piece of art. It should add a meaning and depth to the artwork.
If you are a beginner, then experimenting with different texture painting techniques is the only way to achieve perfection. Creating them is all about creating a visual illusion that adds life to your work of art.