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The Differences Between Simulated Texture & Invented Textures

Simulated and invented textures are used by artists to create visual effects.
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Texture is a dynamic artistic trait evoking certain feelings based on what is outwardly perceived by seeing and touching. Unlike actual texture, both simulated and invented textures refer to unreal or illusory images in art. Although both styles are artistic methods creating an “imagined” texture, several differences make both ideal depending on the artist’s goals.


Invented textures are created to evoke recollection of unusual textures in decorated surfaces. Making use of the artists’ imagination, invented textures do not find real basis in existing textures in the natural world. They are created as focal points of interest, and do not represent physical objects. On the other hand, simulated textures are produced to resemble exact appearances of certain objects.

Image Projection

In its imitation of real or tangible images, simulated texture is able to suggest something true by using texture imagery. For instance, rubber tiles can be made to look like wooden parquet flooring. Touching the tile reveals that the texture was only created to resemble wood in a three-dimensional image. In invented texture, a two-dimensional image is produced only to represent light and dark patterns but with no real surface quality, like the image produced by a computer program’s drawing applications.


Artists easily find ways to imitate characteristics of existing veneers for simulated textures. Such tools may include mechanical, manual and photographic methods to reproduce duplications of actual surfaces. When these reproductions are skillfully done, they can fool the eye into expecting what may not actually be there.

Some artists do not find physical textures sufficient enough to express their art, thus they employ their own methods to conceive images. Invented texture artists employ limitless techniques to fulfill their expectations, with some even combining several types of media to create a unique texture.


Simulated texture imagery includes still life paintings, fabrics that are manufactured to look like fur or leather and paper printed with an image of a real object using true colors. Invented texture imagery includes cross-stitching using repeated patterns, light and dark dots, space-evoking light and shadow interplay and photo collages.

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