By Bethany Perron
I hardly remember how it started.
I was learning Photoshop, gathering as many assets as a new user could, and obsessing over tutorials.
I took a couple of mobile phone art courses, and although I never stuck with creating completed artwork on my phone, I discovered that using the phone to create textures was much more fun, and gave me an endless supply of original assets to add to my pieces.
The more I got into it, the crazier the textures became, and the more I challenged myself to “distress” the strangest photos.
The textures became fantastical mini-projects to me. In my mind, I started calling them “backplate textures” because I would frequently use them as my base, instead of layering them on top.
And it was so convenient to make them on my phone. I started seeing interesting patterns and textures everywhere, and the excitement and curiosity would grow: what could I turn this into? Having the phone and a handful of apps meant that I could collect images and then make the textures anywhere, anytime. Waiting at the doctor’s office? Standing in a long line at checkout? Rainy lunch break? Creativity was literally at my fingertips.
Want to learn how to create your own textures with your phone?
Watch Bethany’s FREE tutorial on how to create your own cool textures using simple mobile apps!
Could I have done these in Photoshop? With a little patience and some plugins, sure, but would I have? Probably not. When I have time to actually sit down and work in PS, I want to be working toward finished pieces, not noodling with textures.
This is what ultimately led to selling my textures: the notion that others may not want to noodle around creating their own either. Especially as these are not always simple overlays, but sometimes complex microcosms from which whole ideas could be born.
Maybe this texture reminds someone of angels, maybe that one looks like a distant mountain range. I can get jazzed up just from the texture and build off of that. Then factor in how layering several together at different blend modes and opacities can create unique effects, and the sky’s the limit.
Want to Skip Ahead and buy some of Bethany’s textures?
Check out the huge collection of textures available on the Shift Art Shop.
Sometimes I use masks to control the region of a texture; sometimes I desaturate or recolor a texture with a Hue/Saturation adjustment. They aren’t precious, so I’m free to twist, hammer, smear, massage, and spackle them.
Check out the GIFs included in this post. The beginning few frames show how I’ve stacked several of my textures, with the final frames showing the subjects added and final toning.
For an in-depth look at how I create textures on my phone, check out my tutorial on Shift Art, where I walk through the process of making three different textures using a variety of apps.
In my texture tutorial you’ll also find a list of all the apps I use to create my textures!
Whether you decide to make your own or use pre-made ones like the ones I offer for sale on Shift Art Shop, I hope that textures will widen the scope of possibility for your artwork!