Applying Textures to an Oil Painting

Adding texture to a painting is a skill that any painter would desire to learn. This gives the painting a better perception and artistic creativity to the art viewer. Here are a few ways to apply textures to a painting.

Transferred texture

Some seasoned artists are very good at adding color to a solid medium and transferring weird designs. You can use a whole bottle of color to the medium to thicken it and create raised line designs and swirls such as writings.

The most important point to remember is that the thicker the medium, the more time it will take to dry.

Grit and sand

You will usually find mediums with silica and sand added to them.  You can include silica in your mediums to give them the extra control over the sandiness. The most vital point is to sift the sand if you do not want a naturally ragged appearance. Sand is best for textures like landscapes or contrasting with flat colors when creating abstracts.


If you are considering using stencils, you do not have to buy expensive ones especially when you have just started to learn how to oil paint. You can actually make your own stencils using thick material like cardboards or flexible plastics.

Using your imagination, you can come up with designs that you have lightly drawn and then cut them out with an Exacto knife. After cutting out the desired shape, do not throw away the unused materials as you may find them useful for later projects.


You can use a variety of combs with different tooth openings and sizes to create linear patterns commonly found in nature. These are useful in making patterns of cloth or hair, creating abstract lines swirls and dotting with paint.

colour buster 


You can create your own stamps using large buttons, fabric, shells, old pins and other material, which you do not need to buy. When you look around your house, you can find many objects that are useful as stamps.

With these, you can use any color, make multiple patterns or just stamp once to make a statement. If the medium is thick, then your stamp will also require more color to create a rough or jagged appearance.

Carving and cutting

You can cut out interesting patterns and shapes into a medium depending on what kind of medium you are using while the medium is still wet. Carving on the other hand works well before you paint the color on top. This will allow you to get a full shadow and highlighted appearance. Alternatively, you can carve out layers when the glaze or paint dries to remove the some of the color.


You can use sanding to remove color when the texture’s layer of the medium dries. Sand it to remove the hard edges before adding paint, as you perform this task, remember is to wear a mask to prevent breathing in tiny particles that can cause health issues over a long period of time.

Paper and cloth

You can press tissue papers or cheese clothes into a medium. This will leave a varying amount of texture on your artwork. On the other hand, you can use cheeseclothes to create folds, which will dry hard and you can add them to the painting canvas with more medium later.

Remember that colors may show through some of the cheeseclothes medium. You can finish up by glazing or painting on top of the fabric. If the color disappears, you can blot it and bring back the texture.

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