Lesson 3: Texture

Why texture?

Usually when we think of art, we just think of it as something to look at. But artists try to engage more senses than just sight - using texture is a way to engage touch. Even drawings that are not meant to be touched can appear like they have texture.

What is texture?

Texture is the look or form of a surface. It can be real or implied. Actual texture is a texture you can feel, like that on a rough bronze sculpture. Implied texture is just a visual that cannot be felt; if you touch a drawing you will only feel the paper but you’ll see texture.


Left: "Pars Les Mains", Carole Desgagné Right: "The Basket of Apples", Paul Cézanne

Line and shape as texture

Different types of lines can create different implied textures. Think of the difference of lines in someone’s hair versus the lines on concrete. Shape can also imply texture. Think of a honeycomb.

Pattern and texture

The repetition of shape and/or line is ultimately what creates the appearance of texture. Repeating the same or similar shapes/lines over and over create patterns of variation.

"The Tree of Life", Gustav Klimt

Exercise 1: Hairy Fruit

  1. Select any fruit or vegetable from your house. 
  2. Draw it - you can either use a contour line method (just draw to draw the shape) or deconstruct into multiple little shapes.
  3. Decide which direction the hair goes in - horizontal? Vertical? Is it long or short?
  4. Draw lines to represent the hair over and over again, creating patterns of variation. These lines should follow the shape of the fruit.


  • Draw the ‘hair’ lines in slightly different lengths to create more variety and realism
  • Hair may go off the object slightly if it is long

Exercise 2: Texture Squares

When we’re drawing texture, we’re drawing an arrangement of shapes or lines. Sometimes we may try to emulate a real texture, like wood, other times we may be creating our own. 

For this exercise, make 4 squares. 

Square 1: Wood

  1. Draw tear drop shapes
  2. Outline the tear drop shapes
  3. Draw vertical curved lines that do not intersect the tear drops, but curve around them

Square 2: Cracked earth

  1. Draw a grid-like pattern
  2. In each space, draw an irregular shaped ‘rock’
  3. Hatch along the edges of every rock
  4. Fill in spaces between rocks, and add additional details

Square 3: Fur

  1. Decide where the fur begins, and the shape
  2. Draw overlapping tear drops going in the direction of the fur
  3. Add in additional lines on the edges of each tear drop

Square 4: You Decide!

Tip: If you’re stuck, see what abstract patterns you can make with only lines or shapes

The Challenge: Textured Shattered Line Art

  1. On your paper, draw a bunch of overlapping curved and zig-zagged lines.
  2. In the spaces created, draw a unique texture. You can use some of the ones we practiced above, or try new ones.