Elements of Art: Texture

Contributor: Stefani Allegretti. Lesson ID: 13497

Texture! Texture! Read all about it! Texture is one of the seven elements of art. In this lesson, you'll learn about what it is and how to create it!


Visual Arts

Fine Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Have you ever felt the roughness of the bark on a tree or the smoothness of the skin of an apple?
  • Perhaps you've felt and seen grains of sand on the beach?

If you have, then you have seen and felt texture!

So far in this series of Related Lessons, found in the right-hand sidebar, you have explored six of the seven elements of art.

  • Are you ready for the final one?

Texture appeals to more than just one of the five senses! Texture is about the sense of sight and, in some cases, the sense of touch as well.

Textures can be rough, coarse, smooth, bumpy, soft, and much more! There are many, many adjectives that can be used to describe different textures simply because texture is everywhere!

In art, there are different types of texture.

For example, texture created by an artist on a two-dimensional surface like a canvas or piece of paper can be seen but not felt. This is referred to as implied texture. This is different than real or actual texture, which can be seen and felt like the texture created in clay.

Watch Elements of Art: Texture | KQED Arts from KQED Art School:

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Implied texture can be created in different ways. One way to create implied texture is to use lines, patterns, shading, or shapes.

Take a look at the image below to see many different types of hand-drawn textures:

various drawn textures

lt is important to know how to use and create texture, especially in two-dimensional art. A drawing of a bird's nest, like the example pictured below, would look very flat, unrealistic, and plain if the artist had not incorporated texture into it:

sketch of bird nest

Texture helps to make this nest drawing look more realistic, adds a sense of depth, and makes it much more visually stimulating.

Artists can create texture in sculptures as well as other three-dimensional artworks. If a sculptor is working with clay, for example, they might engrave or carve lines and patterns in the clay to create texture.

Below is an example of clay relief sculptures that have actual or real texture. If you were to run your fingers across these relief sculptures, you would feel the bumpiness, roughness, and smoothness of the various parts of the relief.

clay houses

Texture is an important element of art because it can add realism, a sense of depth, beauty, and more to an artwork.

Great work so far! Now, move on to the Got It? section to test your knowledge about texture!

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