I have created for you the ultimate list of texture in art examples, broken down by media and types of texture, to use in your classroom to teach the element of design texture.
Texture is one of the elements and principles of art that relates to how something would feel if it were touched. There are several kinds of texture–from actual texture in art where the artwork has a certain physical tactile surface, or it could be visual texture or implied texture where the artwork looks as if it feels a certain way (but actually doesn’t).
This post is a part of my elements and principles of art series.
Download the Free Elements and Principles Printable Pack
This pack of printables was designed to work in a variety of ways in your classroom when teaching the elements and principles of art. You can print and hang in your classroom as posters/anchor charts or you can cut each element and principle of art in its own individual card to use as a lesson manipulative.
Actual Texture in Art
Actual texture is the physical feel an artwork has. From the silky texture of the paint to the rough texture of stone, artists use texture to add interest, create emphasis and expression, and add depth to their work.
Best Artist that Uses Actual Texture
You absolutely cannot teach actual texture without pulling in the work of Anselm Keifer. In both his sculpture and his paintings, he mixes in all sorts of different textures in art such as glass, sand, dried flowers, ash, broken ceramics, straw, and more. His art is bold, dark, and emotional, and the textures contribute to the mood of his work. He was born in Germany at the tail end of World War II. His art shows his attempt to come to terms with the history of his country. Learn more about his work here.
Actual Texture in Art Examples, Two-Dimensional
- Marcia Gygli King, The Family, from The Culture Series, 2005
- Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889
- Anselm Kiefer, Aschenblume, 1983-97
- Justin Gaffrey, Any
- J.M.W. Turner, Rain, Steam, and Speed–The Great Western Railway, 1844
- Iran, Silk Kashan Carpet, 16th century
- Terese Agnew, Portrait of a Textile Worker, 2005
Actual Texture in Sculpture
- Ife, Head, possible a King, 12th-14th century
- Meret Oppenheim, Object, 1936
- Robert Rauschenberg, Monogram, 1955-59
- Constantin Brancusi, Bird in Space, 1925
- Donatello, Penitent Magdalene, 1453-1455
- Michaelangelo, The Awakening Slave (Design for Julius II Tomb), 1536
- Auguste Rodin, Thought Emerging From Matter, 1895
- Benin, Head of an Oba, 18th Century
- Mike Kelley, More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid and The Wages of Sin, 1987
- Buddhas from the Otagi-Nenbutsi Temple, Kyoto Japan
- Ka’apor culture, Necklace with attached flute, 1955-1962
- Asmat people, Body Mask (Det), mid-20th century
- Fred Wilson, Mining the Museum, Metalwork, 1793-1880
Actual Texture in Architecture
- Maya Lin, Vietnam Memorial, Washington D.C., 1982
- Ancient Egypt, The Great Pyramid of Giza, c. 2580–2560 BCE
- Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater, 1936
- Antoni Gaudi, Sagrada Família, 1882-present
- Cambodia, Angkor Wat Temple, 12th century
- India, Meenakshi Amman Temple, 1623-1655
Visual Texture / Implied Texture
Visual texture in art (also called Implied Texture) is texture that is not actually real. The artist creates the illusion of textures through manipulation of the media.
Best Artist that Uses Visual Texture
There are so many masterful artists who create visual texture, but if I had to pick one, I would go with Albrecht Durer. He’s a master in creating textures in multiple media.
Visual Texture Examples in Painting
- Albrecht Durer, Portrait of Hieronymus Holzschuher, 1526
- Ralph Goings, Ralph’s Diner, 1982
- Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Slaying Holofernes, 1614
- Max Ernst, Europe After Rain II, 1940-42
- Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434
- Gustave Caillebotte, Place de l’Europe on a Rainy Day, 1876-1877
- Salvador Dalí, Girl at a Window, 1925
- Pieter Claesz, Still Life with a Skull and a Writing Quill, 1628
- Albrecht Durer, Young Hare, 1502
- Jason de Graaf, Oil Paintings (Any)
- Teresa Elliott, Deliverance
Visual Texture Examples in Drawing
- Vija Celmins, Drypoint – Ocean Surface, 1983
- Leonardo da Vinci, Portrait of a Man in Red Chalk, c. 1512
- Samuel Silva, Ballpoint Pen Drawings (Any)
- Armin Mersmann, Eye Drawings
Visual Texture Examples in Sculpture
- Ron Mueck, A Boy, 2005
- Ron Mueck, A Girl, 2006
- R. Fukahori, 3-D Paintings (Any)
- Keng Lye, 3-D Paintings (Any)
- El Anatsui, Dusasa II, 2007
Do you have a great example to teach the element of design texture? Share it with me in the comments, and I will add it to the list!
Elements and Principles of Art Worksheet
The more artworks your students analyze, the more familiar they’ll be with the elements and principles of art and the easier it will be for them to implement what they learn in their own art. Use our free Art Appreciation Worksheet Bundle for go-to lessons that will take their learning to a deeper level.
This bundle includes elements and principles of art worksheets: