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How to Add Textures to Your Digital Images

Updated on July 20, 2011

Looking for an easy way to add some intrigue to your photographs? Adding textures to your digital images is a simple technique that can produce dramatic results.

What are textures?

Textures come in a variety of forms. For example, wood, metal, paper, and fabric are all popular textures. Concrete, brick, and asphalt also make great textures. Look for patterns in nature, architecture, and your various surroundings. With a little imagination, you will start to see textures in a wide variety of everyday objects!

Coffee stained paper texture


What can you do with textures?

"Grunge" is a popular look for giving your photos a modern, industrial feel. Look for a rusty, scratched, or rough texture to add a grunge look to your photo. "Vintage" is another very popular style. Try to find a texture that looks like it came from Grandma's attic - old wallpaper, crumpled and yellowed paper, etc. Explore the wide variety of available textures and develop a style that works for you.

Elephant skin texture


Basic steps for adding texture

1. Scour your images and/or the web for a suitable texture
2. Open the image you want to modify as well as the texture image in Photoshop
3. Drag the texture image onto your original image (now the texture is a new layer)
4. Experiment with the blending modes for the texture layer (This is the KEY to working with textures! Overlay and Soft Light blending modes often work well.)
5. Adjust the opacity of the texture layer to your liking


What is your favorite image editing software?

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