Add Excitement with Texture!

creating texture in oils, oil painting tips for depth, textural effects in foreground,

Has your art become staid?  Too flat? Too predictable?

Change it up!

Add excitement to your painting life with luscious Textures!


creating texture in oils, oil painting tips for depth, textural effects in foreground,
Its All About Textures….          #1



Exciting Oil TEXTURES

Why oils?

To change it up, of course!  I’ve been using watercolors in a much higher ratio than anything else in the past few weeks.

Time for a brief break.


Oils are quite thick, providing ample ability to create near sculptural like texture.



I would need to use other techniques to create my textural effects with Watercolors.

ie  Watercolor Texture 

creative texture 

touching the mountain 



The Mindset

To keep the ‘excitement and joy’ at the optimum level, I maintained my attitude of Play.

Reminding myself, many times, that I am learning.

That I am playing. Silliness IS Allowed. 

That I am allowed to just explore the paints today.


This way, I can lessen the need for a finished product.   Sometimes,   the inner mind has one in store regardless, and it just emerges.

I enjoy these aspects of painting and having experimentation days….. I never know what Might Happen!


oil painting landscape with textures, impressionist oil landscapes, painting tips in oils,
Textures in Oils, smooth and rough       #2



Painting Materials

lush texture in oils, adds excitement to art, create depth with textures in oils,
Have FUN…….   Creating Sculptural like  Texture in OIls         #3


I chose to use a brush for my experimentations today in oils.

I wished to achieve the dragged, rough lines, the sweeping gestures, the short choppy motions that can be conveyed by using the brush.

I confess I did not use a regular art brush.

Instead,  used a small used, old housepaint brush.  A horrid little stiff brush….. which was really ‘just right’ for helping my create those textural effects in oils!

The surface was a canvas paper, relatively inexpensive. Perfect for a plethora of practice!



My Purpose

The goal was simply to create as much textural effects as I could with the brush in 2-3 colors.

To make the texture stand out more effectively, I need to remember to have plenty of calm, smooth, flat planes of space too.   We know if we have too much action going on all at once, the impact is lost.  Its the same as using color. Too many colors “bright and bold” all over,  are not as effective as One Bold Color set amidst a field of calmer, ‘subordinates.’


In other words,  we need to plan,  and then create a delicate Balance of Calm to Busy.

A very simple, rough beginners’ tip for that……  I suggest about  2/3  Calmer and 1/3  Busy.  

Feel free to play with that ratio.  It depends upon what mood, what feeling you are trying to convey to the viewer, too.  If you want an ultra serene vibe, nearly ‘naptime’ then try for 7/8 Calm  and 1/8 Busy.

Or if you specifically Want the viewer to be in chaos mode…. choose a very high ratio of Busy.

Perhaps 3/4 Busy and 1/4 Calm; and certainly the 7/8 Busy and 1/8 Calm would do the job.




creating focal points in paintings, texture and detail on center of interest, impressionist oil painting with figures,
Figures in Oils          #4


Location, location, location

Where does Texture really belong?!


We want to add excitement.

To get out of the rut, out of the same monotonous pattern and  enliven our art.

Usually, my autopilot mind thinks first of using Color.

Color will do it.

So too will Texture.



But wait.

Where…. does “Texture”  belong?

What are the appropriate corresponding locations in your paintings?

Where should the most and the least go?  From the background,  middleground, foreground to the focal point?

What is the secret, the hint we can all use to help us out?




Generally Speaking,

we want to place the Most detail and Textures on the Focal Point.

Next (usually)  is the Foreground.

Then the Middleground gets less details/textures.

The Background normally receives the least amount of attention, details, textures.





Because as things recede further away from our eye, they become gradually more subtle. More indistinct. They are more blurred, faded, flatter in tonal value, with nearly no details nor textures left for the eye to see (at that Distance.)

This, is something every new artist really needs to jot down on their easel.  So that they see it. Every time they paint!


It confuses the eye, when Every Thing is in focus and has so much detail/texture going on.

When the focal point, the foreground, the midground and the background  all have nearly equal amounts of detail and texture……. our eye is confused about the Depth and Perspective.


textures in art techniques, debi riley
Fabulous Textures  oils      #5


With all of these examples, #1-6,  it was all about trying to create Texture.


In #1  The brush marks seem to gouge through, leaving deep valleys and streaks. With the peaks creating shadows upon the surface.

#2  The look was much smoother, calmer. A high ratio of Calm. With the Foreground have the primary area of textural effects.

#3 A wild medley of sculptural effects. Thick layers plastered on over the top of previously textured areas. Wild.

#4 A fun little testing strip area, practicing figures. The Figures being focal point they received more textures than elsewhere.

#5 Brushing the oils on, then smearing with a piece of paper and lifting to create this look.

#6  lots of tree foliage texture,  image from prior post but changed now into a long horizontal format


With the exception of #6  all the samples were absolutely ‘process’ based vs ‘product’ based.

#6 I wanted Texture and a landscape painting.    The others were great fun and very informative for future work!

oil Textures, impressionist oil landscapes, cobalt teal blue,
Texture in oils  with a pleasing  calm to busy ratio                   example   #6





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,

15 thoughts on “Add Excitement with Texture!

    1. Thank You, Glad you enjoyed the post.
      I’m great, thanks! R&R works like magic.
      Andrew, I was wondering when your camellias were going to be blooming, is it still abit early? Looking forward to seeing them 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy to hear you are doing well. Funny you should ask about the camellias, the first one is about to bloom and my camellia addiction is about to return 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Lovely inspiring oil paintings! Along with colour, I passionately adore texture – both in art and photography. Painting with oils is definitely on my “to do” list but I don’t actually possess any at the moment… !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Inspiring textures, Debi! I especially like #5 and your impressionistic people! Lately I have been thinking a lot about texture in my painting, but, in Acrlyics, not oils…now you’re REALLY making me want to go down that path!! I just love smearing that fat, juicy, paint around!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Cecilia, that is so lovely of you to say! I’m glad you enjoyed these samples of oil textures – they were fun 🙂 cheers, Debi


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