Touchable. Art

cobalt teal blue pg50, textural effects and techniques, cobalt teal painting,

“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
Buttery Impasto



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
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
Playing with Paints acrylics





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,
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,
Molding Paste textural effects,


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,
Magical Mists watercolor landscape debi riley




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



Art that is textural, sculptural engages us More.


Touchable art connects with us, relaxes and soothes.

And,  just makes us feel ….happier.





Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

28 thoughts on “Touchable. Art

    1. Thanks Sharon. I’m trying to get the hang of the 50mm lens plus the macro; to learn what they do. Vs the old ‘kit’ lens. It helps to have better lens. And, ‘practice’ lol


    1. thanks Jodi! I am so glad that the textures here got you enthused and inspired!! very fun, and then we can admire our own ‘sculptures’ touching them if we feel like it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Seriously. Woah! And I totally agree with Sharon – it is like we are right there with your paintings because of your photography skills. Where to start. These are all gorgeous but the molding paste textural effects is WOWing me! Acrylic over molding paste, yes? Wow, so so inspirational and making me just wanna forget Saturday chores and head to my art supplies! ❤ Love!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My only rule in the gallery about touching is no chocolate ice cream or sticky candy. Mom’s are always thankful when I help their little one gently pet the wooly spider on a mixed media piece hung low for just that purpose. Art should employ all the senses.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janice, thats a FAN tastic gallery to go into! There are so many that aren’t quite so relaxed. Good for you! 🙂 cheers, Debi


  3. I relate to this post a lot, I always want to touch a piece of art that speaks to me. Usually I get told off and sometimes it is welcomed but you’re right, touch is a way to connected

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes! thank you for your comment and I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 as an artist, I’m very much into tactile – even though watercolor was my 1st starting medium. I find ways, to Make It sculptural! cheers, Debi


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