Canvas Art Exploration: Exploring the Effects of Texture

The Role of Texture in Canvas Art

Canvas art is a diverse medium in the realm of visual art. It’s also the primary provider of texture in artwork. Texture’s importance in canvas art is less recognized than it is in other practical mediums, such as furniture design or architecture, but is nevertheless an integral part of the visual appeal of a canvas. To understand texture’s role in art, it’s important to consider the value it brings to both the artist and the viewer, as well as the range of techniques used to create it.

Benefits of Texture for the Artist

Texture can be a great asset for the artist, as it examines the concept of creating something visually appealing without relying on traditional painting techniques. As a tactile experience, texture encourages the artist to engage in more creative experimentation, as each brushstroke and mark can influence the general aesthetic of the piece. It also encourages plenty of experimentation with the use of any material, from paint, to collage, to fabric, allowing the artist to broaden their skillset and reinvent their approach.

The Benefits for Viewers

Texture encourages viewers to engage with the artwork in a way that other media can’t. As a physical rather than a purely visual experience, texture can draw a viewer in and create an emotional response. It’s also a great way for the viewer to obtain a more in-depth understanding of the artwork, as textures offer hint to the concept and motivations behind the canvas. Many artists incorporate symbolism into their textures, further encouraging the audience’s involvement with the artwork.

Types of Textures

When it comes to canvas, there are three main types of texture: general, actual, and visual.

General Texture

General texture consists of the texture from the canvas itself. Generally, stretching a canvas over a wooden frame will create a uniform texture, but pre-stamped canvases with a crosshatch pattern can be found as well.

Actual Texture

This type of texture uses the medium to create physical texture. This can be done with oil paints, pastels, and more. Tactile texture is a great way to explore a material’s potential, as hard, smooth, or glossy textures are used to create a greater contrast with the canvas.

Visual Texture

In contrast to actual texture, visual texture uses optical illusions to create the effect of texture within a composition. This is done by manipulating hue, value, and color variances to mimic the appearance of tactile texture, as well as playing with the viewer’s depth perception.


Texture is an important part of creating a visually satisfying canvas and can contribute a great deal to both the artist’s image and the viewer’s experience. Understanding the types of texture and their respective qualities is important for anyone creating canvas art, as texture can be adapted to create a unique aesthetic. Ultimately, texture provides the canvas artist with an opportunity to push the boundaries of their medium and create a canvas that makes a lasting impression.