The term is often misused, referring only to rough surfaces; However, all surfaces have texture, from tree bark to a glass mirror. While most textures have a naturalistic quality, some are clear patterns that repeat a theme or element. This is a motif.
A designer recognizes that different textures can affect visual interest and add variety to a composition without changing color or value relationships.
While texture can make an image more interesting, there’s some consensus that it’s not an element strong enough to organize a composition.
There are two kinds of texture:
Tactile means touch. This type of texture involves a three-dimensional (3-D) surface wherein the actual surface can be felt.
One example is found in fine-art painting. Artists will create tactile texture by whipping paint into rough peaks, a technique called impasto. One artist famous for this is Vincent Van Gogh. Other painters will even add sand to their paint.
Both types of texture are important to a designer. But in two-dimensional (2-D) art, the illusion of texture — visual texture — is used more than tactile.
Visual refers to the illusion of texture on a flat surface; No matter how rough objects look on paper, the actual surface is smooth.