“Look.  but Don’t Touch!”

Geesh.   That just spoils the enjoyment and fun doesn’t it?   But,  that’s what most galleries and artists tell you when viewing their art works on display.



Heavy Body Acrylics, buttery impasto debiriley.com
Buttery Impasto debiriley.com



Touchable Art Brings Enjoyment


I love sculptural effects in paint.

I collect and use many types of papers. I love feeling the different surfaces. Some are silky, some like velvet, yet others are like burlap.

And canvases are the same way.

Once the paint is slathered on, I have the compulsion…. To feel it, not just look at it.


But,  that is a no go zone in nearly all the galleries.

I do see their point.

They can’t have bubble gum stuck on paintings willy nilly!






Usually,  with my most of my own work,  I do encourage people to touch it. It helps them connect, to relate.


They smile.

It makes them Happy.


Isn’t that what art is meant to do?

It is one of my primary reasons for creating art.



Touch is ….. ‘More’

Touch is on a totally different level than ‘just looking!’  Somehow, when we add touch into the mix we add to our experience of art.

The More senses we involve,  the more we can be in tune with the art work.



How often do we touch the fabric of the dress in the shops?


Or the loaf of bread, the watermelon in the store?

and How about the Fabriano Rough  cotton  watercolor paper….Does it feel ‘right’ to us?

When it does,  we like it, we connect.


turquoise encaustic debiriley.com
Encaustic over Watercolor painting


Textural Technique  Samples

These examples  of paintings’ details show a variety of techniques.

All filled with texture,  some extremely sculptural.  All very fun, very touchable.

Bringing the art experience to a different level.

Just a little bit…. More.


playing with paints, in acrylics debiriley.com
Playing with Paints acrylics debiriley.com





Textures of Morning Kiss for Monet. A beautiful blend of both silken smooth and rough, troweled on textures.

This contrast… is wonderfully intriguing.


It does make me  pause to reflect.


About what kind of art experience,  I am giving to the viewers.



Monet Rose Garden, acrylic palette knife, debiriley.com
Morning Kiss for Monet







When seeing a textural, sculptural artwork the viewer often will ‘lean’ in.


Even if the art is on a computer screen.

I’ve found myself doing this.

I find myself becoming quite engaged, with the image below. With its deep crevices and mountains,  streaks and layers.



cobalt teal blue pg50, textural effects and techniques, cobalt teal painting, debiriley.com
Molding Paste textural effects, debiriley.com


Using molding paste and impasto medium with both watercolor and acrylics, is a method I use to help create more texture.


The viewer engagement is so much higher when there is textural effects included as part of the design.


It is another thing to consider.




watercolor contemporary landscape, cobalt teal blue pg50, abstract watercolor landscape, debiriley.com
Magical Mists watercolor landscape debi riley




Daniel Smith paints, acrylic impasto textures, palette knife, debiriley.com
Acrylic  Palette Knife, Impasto Texture, debiriley.com



Art that is textural, sculptural engages us More.


Touchable art connects with us, relaxes and soothes.

And,  just makes us feel ….happier.