How to Apply Textures to Illustrations in Illustrator

A Complete Guide On How To Textures to Illustrations in Illustrator

Creative minds, particularly designers, use every tool that is necessary to enhance their creativity. Adobe illustrator is one of the tools that help designers add many creative elements to their designs to help them project their creativity.

Adding textures to illustrations is one of the design elements offered by adobe illustrator. These design bundles add quality and depth to vector illustrators. The use of illustration texture combines with other design bundles to make design relatively easy.

You can easily transform a flat-looking design to an impressive texturized design using grain effect to add a retro style texture. With some simple brush strikes and halftone patterns, this element can help you derive your rich textured design with ease.

If you intend to learn about adding texture to your design, this might be the most informative piece you will come across today. Below are simple steps to guide you through the process of adding illustration texture.

illustration texture

STEP 1: Grid Set up

The first step to take is to have a grid set up for your design. This is the stage where you work out your document’s width and break it into your intended number of segments. Select preference and click on grids and guides. Next, insert the number you want in the gridline in every space. The subdivision is dependent on the nature of your design and the result that you intend to achieve.

STEP 2: Do a Rough Illustration

Once you have successfully set up the grid, you can proceed to create a rough illustration. You should select a view, pick the Grid and Guides option, and then click on the Document Grid Snap option. Turn on your ruler by using the command Cmd/Crtl+R. It will also help you find the center of the canvas.

STEP 3: Choose a Color palette

The choice of the color palette is dependent on the designer. You can check through the menu of the Swatch fly-out option on the illustrator for an impressive pre-determined color palette.

STEP 4: Include textures to Shapes

You can add a slight hand-drawn feel to shapes by adding illustration texture to the shapes’ edges. To achieve this, open the brushless panel and drop down the menu. Select the open brush library option and choose ‘artistic’ and click the ‘ChalkCharcoalPencil’ option.

STEP 5: Eliminate the Stroke

Eliminating the stroke means you are completing the shape. Apply your select brushstroke after selecting the shape until you find the output satisfying. Proceed to select ‘object’ and choose the expanded appearance. Next, go to the icon labelled pathfinder panel and select ‘merge.’ Repeat this step for every element you added a stroke to.

illustration texture
illustration texture

STEP 6: Create and Add a Gradient

Creating a fine gradient will add a grainy and textured feel with depth and retro style. Copy a part of the illustration being worked on and use the gradient that you have created. You can carry out this by opening your swatches. Do this by selecting the gradient panel and click the default black stopper.

STEP 7: Add Texture to the Gradient

To add illustration texture to the design, go to the ‘Effects’ and select ‘Texture,’ then click on the ‘Grain’ option. To achieve the best result, set the Contrast to 50, Intensity level to 74, and Grain type to the Sprinkles. You can play around with this texturizing until you achieve your satisfying design. Once you are done, click ‘OK’ and select ‘Multiply’ in the transparency panel drop-down option. Next, return your gradient over the shape.

STEP 8: Try Out the Gradients

Click on the gradient tool option and drag the cursor to both directions (right to left or vice versa) to experiment and try out the gradient and scale. You can also change the size of the gradient by altering the sliders within the Gradient panel. It is best to be as flexible as possible during this process.

STEP 9: Integrate Halftone Patterns

The next step is to utilize another preset panel in illustrator to add a number of halftone patterns to your design. To use this preset panel, select the option labelled Swatches drop-down, click on the ‘Open Swatch Library,’ go-to ‘patterns’ and pick the black dots’ option.

STE10: Fill the Dots with Color

The black dot option in the previous step will allow you the flexibility of selecting the color you want. Click on your preferred ‘Pattern Swatch’ and drag it to your desktop for easy accessibility. Use the available direct selection tool to pick the dot lines and color it up. Then, repeat this step for all the rows of dots.

illustration texture
illustration texture

STEP 11: Play with Color and Insert the Texture

Pick the dot group and drop them back into your usual swatch panel using the black arrow. You can copy a part where you intend to insert it, choose the swatch you want, and return the elements to have a halftone design. Feel free to try out different colors to add depth to your design.

STEP 12: Finish Up

Complete the task by adding some finishing details to suit your intention. This step is flexible enough to project your creativity.


Illustration texture is one of the most impressive design bundles that project beauty and creativity in designs. The process of adding textures to illustrations on illustrator is simplified in the steps above to make it hassle-free. Feel free to try it out!

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