by Weston Maggio

Adding Texture to an Image in Photoshop with a Wacom Tablet

In the culinary arts, a dish with "texture" possesses depth and complexity. The same could be said about an image. When an image has texture, it too has depth and quite literally layers of complexity. By complexity, I mean figuratively. Adding texture to an image doesn't have to be a complex task, but the results can be quite pleasing.

Texture can make or break an image. It can be a subtle addition, or it could be the very basis on which am image is created. In keeping with the food metaphor, consider that sushi is every bit about texture as it is flavor. So, as the adage goes, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Adding texture for the sake of adding texture isn’t a good practice.

Some excellent cases for adding texture to an image include "aging photos". This could involve a subtle application, or an over-the-top style like the look that I go for in the video below. Another example of where texture can really add something to an image is with sports related photos. Think football, lacrosse, and wrestling—your more aggressive or “rugged” sports.

Where do get textures to add to your images? I have a habit of collecting them in my travels. They may be close ups of walls or floors that exhibit interesting surfaces. When the sun or light source is low or far to the side of a surface you get a lot of contrast. These conditions make for great textures. Peeling paint and rusted metal are great too. No matter the color, they can provide excellent textures. After all, you can always desaturate a colored image to get a grayscale texture.

Give this tip a try in your own home: Take a lamp or even a flash light and hold it to the edge of the countertop in your kitchen. Using your mobile phone, take a photo of the counter top from above. Regardless of whether you have laminate, granite or marble, you will pick up a texture.

Next, check out the video below to learn how to add that texture to an image, as well as see some examples of where a little texture can make a big difference.

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