The first of the seven elements of art that I will go over is texture. Texture, like the other elements is used to give interest and draw the attention of your viewer’s eye.


Texture in a macro shot can get really intriguing. When you get REALLy close to a subject, large or small, you can see textures that no one has ever seen. These broken shells are all along the beach in the Canaveral National Seashore in Florida. Getting up close to them with the right lens brings out the details in the tiny shells. You can see every little line, hole, and mark from years of these shells being washed up and down the beach.

Textured Shells

Many people can’t even recognize what these are until you actually tell them they are shells.


Using texture is portrait is a great way to create an interesting background. A lot of the time, smooth skin and long hair can contrast well with a rough background.

Textured Portrait Background

This portrait has a rough, rocky background that contrast well with the couple’s solid colors.

Using a long lens with a wide aperture creates a thick blur in the background, to the point it’s unrecognizable. With the right elements in the background, you can create a very interesting texture that really contrasts with the subject because of the vast difference in sharpness.

Textured Bokeh

The light shining through the trees in this portrait background creates a great effect.

Bricks and doors that are old, dirty, and worn are great for portrait backgrounds. Making sure your subject is far enough away from the background so that only the model is in focus is important to create separation. Using dark, earthy colors on solid clothing will separate the subject through texture and sharpness differences while still keeping unity with the similar color palette.

Textured Door

This old wall and door is from an abandoned building in downtown Hayesville, North Carolina.


Using texture in the right areas of a landscape photo can be used to draw a viewer’s eye to the area you want. Notice in the below photograph, even though the sky is bright, your eye will go straight to the trees and dock because of its texture. There is no texture in the sky, therefore is becomes less interesting. This is why a cloudy sky is usually more eye-catching than an empty blue sky.

Textured Trees

The “texture” in the trees make viewers eyes go right to the subject.

The next article will go over the element of line. If you want to keep up, be sure to subscribe with your email on the left and like the page on Facebook.