I love finding interesting textures in my surroundings, so I sometimes go hunting with my camera. In my town, I’ve found an abundance of grungy urban decay. Peeling paint, cracking walls, rusting metal, water and weather damage, pitted stone, lichen, gritty gravel and concrete – it’s amazing what’s out there if you look closely enough.
I made fifty urban grunge textures into black and white vector images traced from high-contrast photographs. These are for sale through my adobe stock portfolio.
The following thumbnails give an overview of the range of images I created.
Here are close-up detailed views of a selection of the textures.
The textures are perfect for simulating the effects of age, wear and decay in your photos and graphics.
They are also perfect for use as grungy abstract backgrounds in your graphic design projects such as stationery and flyers.
You could also add some hardcore grit and grunge to your text and images.
Save yourself hours of walking, photography and processing and let my textures bring the grungy urban world into your digital reality.
Can you guess what happens if you take a large sheet of paper, a packet of hot-pink Holi powder, a camera and a furry four-legged ‘supervisor’?
Things quickly get messy as I start chucking powder around, and fortunately, my cat loses interest.
But the mess is worth it as the results get interesting.
I gradually added powder, starting with a light sprinkle, and progressing to a heavy, textured layer of almost full paper coverage. I took photographs throughout the experiment and the end result is twenty-seven black and white powder vector textures which are for sale on Adobe Stock.
The following thumbnails show the full range of images.
Here are close-up detailed views of a selection of the textures.
The textures are great for adding irregular, organic texture effects to flat colour graphics and illustrations.
You could experiment with layering, changing blending modes or using colour and gradient fills to produce complex and colourful backgrounds.
Create eye-catching abstract backgrounds for use on product packaging.
I hope my few examples give you a taste of the creative possibilities offered by these unusual textures. They’re easy to use and ready to go, with no mess and zero powdery clean up required.
In my ongoing hunt for unique texture possibilities, I decided to experiment with some scratchboard, or scraperboard as it’s known in the UK. It’s a heavy foil-coated cardboard with a scratchable matt-black top layer and is generally used to craft intricate and laborious metallic engravings.
Alternatively, you can drop it and scrape it (and your knees) around on the floor and up the walls, attack it with sandpaper and maybe even a fork. This enjoyably experimental destruction created an unusual variety of ‘scratch and scrape’ abstract textures.
I then digitised the boards to create a set of forty black and white ‘scratch & scrape’ vector textures. These are available to buy from Adobe Stock.
The following thumbnails show the full variety of textures.
The following are close-up details of a few of the images.
These textures are perfect for adding scratchy damage effects to your design or illustration.
They also make it easy to create strikingly grungy abstract backgrounds.
Create unusual and unique abstract images by combining, colourising, filling and blending.
I had a lot of fun creating this texture pack and the final results were definitely worth the effort.
I love the unpredictability of printmaking using lino sheets. Simple variations in ink density, applied pressure, and paper texture provide a wonderful variety of results. This is a small sample of the many sheets I printed to produce some versatile faux-printed textures. These can be purchased on Adobe Stock.
After scanning the printed sheets, I did minimal retouching to preserve the authentic ‘physical’ texture. Finally, I converted the scanned images to a series of forty-eight black and white vector files.
The textures range from dark and intense to light and subtle and are printed on a mixture of bristol board, cartridge and watercolour papers. The following thumbnails demonstrate the full range.
The following images show close-up details of a selection of the textures.
These lino printed texture files have a variety of potential creative uses. They are a perfect way to quickly create faux-printed effects in your illustrations or graphic designs.
They are also great for creating grungy distressed effects in your graphics or photographs.
The textures also make great abstract backgrounds.
Easily bring organic, physical textures into your digital work while saving yourself the time, mess and inconvenience of printmaking. Open an array of creative possibilities with these print-themed vector textures.
I’ve been using a variety of media to produce my background textures. I love the effect I can get from high resolution scanned pencil lines. I produced two simple striped textures, one in pencil, and one inverted to look like chalk lines on a blackboard. These are for sale in my image collection on Shutterstock.
I’ve been going through some more of my older hand-drawn patterns and making vector versions of them. It is pretty time consuming but I really like the results.
I love the pattern making tools in the latest version of adobe Illustrator, they are an efficient way to create complicated and accurate pattern repeats. I’m having a hell of a time getting the pattern tiles not to explode when the file is saved in a legacy version though. Stock agencies like Shutterstock want the file saved as an Illustrator 10 eps so it’s a problem I need to solve. I have some ideas on how to do that which will keep me busy.
I think this one will be good as a fabric pattern too so it will eventually end up on my Spoonflower collection too.
One of the fun things about going down the stock image route is that I can get out all my old illustration experiments. I’ve always had problems settling on one creative style so there are a few of them. Here’s a pattern I made from a loose doodle style made with watercolour and fine liners. I like the light-hearted brightness of this one.
As part of my stock selling mission I’ve decided to include textures in my portfolio. I have a long habit of scanning anything I think might make an interesting texture and then tinkering with it in Photoshop. This week I have mostly been making two-toned lino textures.
These are for sale on Shutterstock and the red one has already had some downloads which is an exciting start. More textures to come soon…