Texture With Oil Colour

There are a variety of textures that can be achieved with oil painting using the conventional oil painting techniques, such as impasto, or simply through mere experimentation.

In this article, we’ll discuss various painting effects, and how texture can be achieved with these effects.


When you want to embark on an impasto oil painting project, you need to stock up tons of oil color.

In the impasto technique, large amounts of paints are applied using a brush or palette, often with an extremely gestural quality. What results is a 3-dimensional aspect to the surface.

Usually, the thick texture of the paint is increased using distinctive mediums made for impasto while a marginal reduction of the paint would have been otherwise directly applied from the tube. Mediums like these, for instance oloepasto, help to aid during the drying process because they maintain their shape as the paint dries.

At times, impasto can be employed in conventional painting if lightly done in selected pinnacle spots, for instance bright highlights.


A procedure that involves scumbling oil paint entails applying a relatively thick coat of color, and then removing the paint with a textured object that’s also absorbent, such as a dry brush, a sponge or a rag.

When used a little more loosely, the term scumbling may refer to the process where a rag is used to blend or blur paint on the surface. In this method, the texture created will be more interesting if the texture used was a creative one.

Ala Prima

This basically refers to a painting process completed in a single sitting. Color is applied quickly and usually full of expression. The texture is created by manipulating a thick layer of paint in a spontaneous way.

There are no layers or glazing involved in the Ala Prima technique. Thus, the ‘Fat over Lean’ rule isn’t necessarily applicable here. Nonetheless, there can still be some cracking and spots of dullness, so it is important not to use too many mediums or solvents when painting ala prima. Instead, color right from the tube is used in paintings painted in ala prima style. Alternatively, the use of solvents and drying agents is limited.


Expressionist painting is famous for spreading the paint across the surface in a carefree way. A brush is used to quickly drag the color, with the aim of leaving exposed spots of the layer underneath. This gives the effect of layering and open-ended brush-stroke. This technique is ideal for expressing gesture.


The dabbing technique was frequently used by French expressionists as a technique toward their expression of color and light. In this technique, layers of paint are applied in short brush-strokes across the entire surface, either in even or uneven intervals. A unique mixture of color and texture is allowed by the dabbing technique where marks of paint overlap.

Other materials

There are endless possibilities of textures that can be created with oil paint. However, beyond the paint manipulation, some element of texture can be got by working other materials into an oil painting.

pencil portrait mastery course

oil painting techniques