How to Add Texture in Illustrator: Easy Tutorial

By Tati Taylor 5 days ago, Software Reviews

Want to learn how to add texture in Illustrator? I have prepared an understandable guide, so that you can understand the process and speed up your image enhancing routine.

Method 1. Through Basic Graphics

This method of adding textures in Illustrator works for those who want to work with textures professionally. Using this option, you can not only apply a texture, but also resize and recolor the selected textured element.

STEP 1. Open Graphics Textures

graphic textures to add texture in illustrator

You need to create a new Artboard > Basic Graphics Textures with the Window command. Find the Swatch Libraries at the bottom of the list, and hover the mouse over it. 

basic graphics to add texture in illustrator

Then you should run the Patterns-Basic Graphics command. You will see a standard set of textures available in the Illustrator free trial version.

STEP 2. Open Swatches

swatches to add texture in illustrator

To change the color of the basic texture, open the Swatches bar in the Window tab.

STEP 3. Choose Texture

choose texture to add texture in illustrator

Put the Texture and the Swatches windows side by side. Then, using the drag-and-drop option, place the desired texture onto the Swatches panel.

STEP 4. Open Appearance

explore appearance to add texture in illustrator

Open the Appearance panel on the Window tab. This panel helps you explore the elements of the chosen texture. Thus, you can learn if it’s possible to change their fill or stroke color when necessary.

STEP 5. Select Objects

lock objects to add texture in illustrator

Press CTRL + A for Windows or CMD + A for Mac to select all texture objects. Then you should go to the Layers panel and click on the lower rectangle without fill and stroke to lock it.

STEP 6. Change Color

change colour to add texture in illustrator

You can replace the stroke and fill color if needed. To proceed, you can use either the Swatches bar or the Color Picker when you need a specific tint. When you create shapes in Illustrator, you can add custom elements to the texture.

STEP 7. Return to the Swatches Panel

select elements to add texture in illustrator

Once you unlock the rectangle with no fill or stroke, you need to select all the elements of the tile pattern. Then, drag the tile back to the Swatches panel.

STEP 8. Done

blending mode to add texture in illustrator

After you created a texture in Illustrator, you can apply it to your image. For a more natural result, experiment with the blending mode and transparency.

Method 2. Through Effects

The Effects panel is multifunctional. Using it, you can add basic textures through a separate tab with customizable intensity and texture type. There are many Adobe Illustrator tutorials that cover this topic.

STEP 1. Open Images

open image to add texture in illustrator

Open the desired image. Keep in mind, that can disassemble vector graphics into objects to apply the effect separately, but it doesn’t work this way with raster graphics.

STEP 2. Choose Texturizer

texturizer to add texture in illustrator

Hover the mouse over the Effects panel and click to open a drop-down list. Find the Texture and move to Texturizer.

STEP 3. Configure Texturizer

adjust texture parameters to add texture in illustrator

You can adjust the texture parameters with the controls on the right. Once you complete, both fill and stroke of the selected image will appear with texture settings. To save them, press OK.

STEP 4. Choose a Blend mode

select blending mode to add texture in illustrator

Select a Blending Mode from the drop-down menu and set the relevant mode. 

Method 3. Through Clipping Mask

This is one of the easiest ways to work with Adobe Illustrator textures and apply them to any element.

STEP 1. Open the Desired Images

choose file to add texture in illustrator

Open the desired object along with the relevant texture. 

import image to add texture in illustrator

You should use a high-quality picture not to spoil its look when resizing.

STEP 2. Apply the Clipping Mask

clipping mask to add texture in illustrator

Place the image over the texture. Then select both files and apply Clipping Mask to them. You can either right-click on the selected area or use a command on the Layers panel. 

STEP 3. Choose a Blend Mode

blend mode to add texture in illustrator

Try different blending modes and opacity to find the proper variant. You can change background color in Illustrator to get a clear and shaded texture.

Bonus Tools

bonus tools for the illustrator

To speed up your workflow in Adobe Illustrator, use ready-made textures. These free collections are compatible with Illustrator. They will boost your creativity and potential when working with textures.