What Does Texture Mean in Art?

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In art, texture appeals to the sense of touch and is the tactile feeling of an art piece. Both two-dimensional and three-dimensional art forms use texture to convey themes of the work.

In two-dimensional art, such as paintings, the thickness of the brushstrokes creates texture that draws attention to elements of the piece and creates intrigue for the viewer. Artists, including painters and oil pastel artists, experiment with styles by trying different textures in their work.

Three-dimensional art forms, including marble, clay, iron and wood sculptures, offer texture in the form of waxing, polishing, painting and sanding the surface. Other forms of art, such as public memorials like the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington D.C., are meant to be touched. Functional art, like stoneware and basket-weaving, have both visual and tactile elements that contribute to its usefulness. Texture can also be implied in art; for example, brushstrokes can resemble fabric or metal.