A key component to my fine art work is texture. I add it to almost every image I create for many reasons: to make my work look more filmic, to make it look more painterly, to make it look old, and sometimes as a finishing layer to make it look polished.

There are countless uses for texture and each image calls for something a little different. That’s why it pays off to make your own textures, and it’s super simple! Here are 10 different textures I made in about 20 minutes within a 10 foot radius of my garage!

Materials (all optional):
Paint Brush
Baby Powder or Flour
Black Cloth

The goal is to create random smears or smudges, splatters, cracks, etc. Any pattern that isn’t discernable is great. You want to avoid too much contrast of light on your texture if possible – even, soft light is best from my experience. Get close to the texture so that it fills your frame. And finally, get creative.

You’ll find yourself looking at things you never noticed before in a whole new way! Here are my textures and the wider shots of where the textures came from!

Want to learn how to edit with textures? I have a whole tutorial about just that right here! On that same page you can also find my texture available for a totally free download.

Share this with any artists you think could benefit!

Happy Creating!

  • February 7, 2020 - 7:34 am

    Anna Bruce - I also love photographing old cookie sheets. I’ve made textures out of falling snow (by shooting up towards the sky), and I have photographed blank canvases too so I can get that painterly effect.ReplyCancel

    • February 7, 2020 - 10:03 am

      Gallagher Green - I never thought of a cookie sheet, that is a great idea! But I’m not sure mine are textured enough, I better make some cookies on them first to make sure. 😉
      I have some canvas paintings, I should take photos of the backsides of them for textures, thanks for the idea! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • February 7, 2020 - 10:40 am

      Jen - Yes! Baking sheets are the best! It’s also fun to see how ceramic versus metal creates different textures on the sheetsReplyCancel

  • February 7, 2020 - 9:24 am

    Marcel Klassen - Hello!
    So you just take picture of it then? And then turn it black and white?
    Best regards ❤️❤️ReplyCancel

  • February 7, 2020 - 10:03 am

    Anne Haile - I really love the baby powder idea, thats one I hadnt thought of. Will be trying it out on different textured backgrounds this weekReplyCancel

  • February 7, 2020 - 10:08 am

    Gallagher Green - It is so stupid, I never thought of just painting on some paper for textures! How could I have not thought of that???
    I do try and remind myself to look for them as I am out and about.
    Nothing ties a composite together like a texture, even a faint texture makes a huge difference in some photo.
    I have also used them for making my own cliff faces and such like they do in matte painting.ReplyCancel

  • February 7, 2020 - 10:26 am

    Jose Antonio Blaya - La verdad es que no se me había ocurrido nunca esta forma de elaborar tus propias texturas. La imaginación al poder ReplyCancel

Everyone knows I love a little flowing fabric. Or maybe a lot. Okay, I have a full-on obsession with flowing fabric. As evidenced by my hundred or so images that feature it. Why? It creates movement in an otherwise static image. It can be transformed into so many shapes and adds an organic element to an image.

I can’t wait to see how you use moving fabric in your art!

I’ll pull some of the art that I see this week to feature!
Use the hashtag #PromotingPassionChallenge so I can find you!

Here is some food for thought. Enjoy the challenge, and remember to push yourself creatively!

When I shot this, my goal was to throw the fabric at the camera and see what effect I got. I loved it!
I shot this in Death Valley on a day when it hit 125 degrees F. It was miserable! And even more so because I had to fling this fabric all over. But it was worth it!
In this case, I used the fabric to look like an extension of my body.
I attached strips of fabric to an umbrella to create this effect.
I used one small piece of fabric to create an entire dress!
  • February 2, 2020 - 6:12 pm

    Gallagher Green - I literally have no fabric, I think a bed sheet is all I have, so that will have to do.
    Now, what in the heck am I going to make? On the bright side, I can’t do much worse than last weeks challenge, it wasn’t very cinematic at all. LOLReplyCancel

Here’s another 10 Things I Love! I hope that you get to digest some of them this weekend and that you start next week freshly inspired!

Sally Mann
  1. Sally Mann (Revolutionary photographer)
  2. Atonement (Beautifully cinematic movie) + the Soundtrack
  3. Danielle Da Silva (Activist and photographer)
  4. Saladfingers (Creepy web short)
  5. Modigliani (Surrealist Painter)
  6. Billie Eilish music video – When the Party’s Over
  7. Ksenia Anske (Dark Fantasy writer)
  8. Stranger Things (Sci-fi TV show)
  9. Gillian Gamble (Illustrator, writer, entrepreneur)
  10. Neil Gaiman – Coraline (Fantasy children’s book)
  • January 31, 2020 - 10:42 pm

    Tim Stephens - I came here hoping for “news” (;-) but I *love* seeing Sally at the top of your list! She’s definitely one of my idols/heroes for so many reasons. Do make time to read her memoir “Hold Still” if at all possible. You won’t regret a moment of it. It’s wonderfully written and absolutely captivating. It even includes mystery, murder and mayhem! And 100 year old boxes tied with string in attics! <3 Obvs I recognize a lot of the other entries on your list. But Danielle? Saladfingers? Good thing it’s not even 1am! Off to Google I go, lol!ReplyCancel

  • February 2, 2020 - 7:04 pm

    Gallagher Green - I have seen the first two seasons of Stranger Things three times, and the third season twice.
    Gillian is always incredible in every way!
    A great list all the way around. ReplyCancel

Everyone knows the look of movies, though it is incredible diverse in visuals. There is something about feeling like an image is about to move – like the reality of it is heightened. That’s how I view cinema. I don’t work in this medium normally, and only have a smattering of images that could pass as cinematic. Mine edge toward painterly. But I thought it would be fun to see how far we could take this theme this week!

You could use movies that inspire you to create from those visuals, or go for a classic cinematic look. Whatever your inspiration, it’s sure to be unique!

I’ll pull some of the art that I see this week to feature!
Use the hashtag #PromotingPassionChallenge so I can find you!

Here is some food for thought. Enjoy the challenge, and remember to push yourself creatively!

I shot this in a house I rented in Seattle and loved the voyeuristic framing.
This was from the same trip. We stumbled upon a Civil War reenactment and joined in!
Again, the same trip but what a different feeling! Compared to most of my work, this image is clean, sharp, and the hazy light reminds me of filmic light.
This location screams of a movie!
The motion and photographic look of this image combine to give me a cinematic feel.
  • January 26, 2020 - 8:40 pm

    Gallagher Green - I did just watch The Joker movie, but I don’t think I can create quite that dark! LOL
    I already have an idea that just popped into my head earlier, but I have never created in this style so it is going to be a big change. I look forward to it though. ReplyCancel

Flowers are an incredibly evocative prop. They are rich in color, delicate to the touch, symbolic of growth/beauty/death…and my personal favorite are either: dead flowers, or death flowers, like calla lilies. Did you know that the calla lily was my wedding flower?

I can’t wait to see what flowers you use, or if you only use the theme symbolically!

I’ll pull some of the art that I see this week to feature!
Use the hashtag #PromotingPassionChallenge so I can find you!

Here is some food for thought. Enjoy the challenge, and remember to push yourself creatively!

Rosehead…Ksenia Anske would be proud!
Petals from a collaboration between myself and Jen Brook.
Using people to create a figurative flower.
Abstract flowers in a pool of water.
I went to my local creek and the flowers were in bloom, so I spread them over the water and jumped in!