Anytime you’re wondering how you might spruce up a newly created 2D drawing, ask yourself, “what objects in my drawing have a unique texture in real life?”
Then the fun begins! Once you know what items you want to add detail to, you’ll create texture by using different mediums and techniques, such as:
Ink – for fine lines or dotting
Pencil – for cross hatching and shading
Or Charcoal – for darker, bold lines or smudging
Admittedly, it’s one thing to know the technique exists… It’s a whole other thing to actually carry it out and add more realism to a 2D drawing!
There’s no doubt it can be challenging, and may take some practice.
But the end result can add a whole new dynamic to your creation – so it’s definitely worth practicing. Especially on those days you feel the extra motivation to push yourself and learn something new.
And by playing around with fine lines, or dramatic sweeps – you can change your entire drawing’s meaning and intention.
In this blog we’ll cover 3 easy textures you can add to your piece to make it come to life with some extra pizzazz – for those days you’d like to take your drawing another step further:
Let’s dive in
1 – GRASS
Any outdoor scene can easily be elevated by sprucing it up with some detailed, blowing-in-the-breeze grass.
To make your grass realistic, you’ll need to make many individual swipes going from the bottom to the top of the blade of grass.
As you make the individual swipes, make sure you give the swipe a natural, slight bend to it (this adds movement and realism) – rather than straight up and down.
You’ll also want to make sure that your individual grass blades are not all bending in the same direction, or have the exact same length. Individualism is key here – every blade of grass will be slightly unique.
To achieve the most realistic grass, apply more pressure to your drawing utensil at the base of the grass, and ease up on the pressure as you reach the top. This will help create contrast between the denseness of the grass root and the feathery lightness of the tip.
Allow yourself to free-flowingly make your swipes – too much thought behind your movements and it may not come out looking as natural as you’d hoped. Let go of thinking ahead too much!
For a video tutorial, check out TylersArtShack’s video How To Draw Realistic Tall Grass
2 – WOOD
Whether it’s the front door of a home, the logs of a summer bonfire, or the cutting boards in a kitchen… Adding texture to a wooden item in your drawing will add unique depth to your piece!
To make wood realistic, you’ll need to consider grains. Wood tones ebb and flow between dark and light shades that create the grain pattern in natural wood.
Lightly shade in your entire section of wood to create the base tone. Then take an eraser and create streaks where the lighter shades of the grain may be. Then take your drawing utensil and apply more pressured streaks where the darker shades of the grain would be.
Be sure that your light and dark streaks have a slight curve and bend to them – natural wood grains will not be perfectly straight, and may not reach from one end all the way down to the other.
Once you’ve got that base, you can create more details through further shading with your pencil and highlighting with your eraser. You can also add fine lines that extend from your main streaks and follow the grain pattern you’ve created.
Attention to detail will be key for creating a realistic wooden texture.
For a video tutorial, check out Infinitus Learning’s video Learn how to draw wood texture
3 – BRICK
Drawing brick texture can become a whole lot easier if you pull up a reference photo to remind yourself of how bricks line up with each other in a staggered pattern.
To create a realistic texture, you’ll need to create the mortar as well - not just the brick shapes. Start by creating horizontal lines stacked on top of each other and spaced evenly all the way across the desired section you’d like to make brick.
Then add in short vertical lines between your horizontal lines to create that staggered pattern.
Now that you have many rectangles created, you’ll draw individual bricks inside each rectangle, leaving space on the edges to indicate where the mortar is. You can make the brick perfectly cornered inside the rectangle, or with rounded edges.
Define the outer edge of your brick with darker pencil, and now it’s time to shade the brick!
You’ll want to shade in your brick following different angles and applied pressure. You can lightly shade in the mortar and create dotted patterns on it, and on the edges of your brick, to portray the more porous parts.
For a video tutorial, check out Dan Beardshaw’s video How To Draw Realistic Textures using Pencils at second 04:25.
Other textures you can check out and play around with include:
Remember - learning to add these textures effortlessly will take practice! Enjoy the process and have fun adding more depth to your masterpieces :) For more creative challenges join our online community.