Where can you find free textures, to use with Photoshop to add interest to your images?
Adding textures can lift your image from a straightforward photograph into the realm of digital artwork. If you have never tried it before then a good place to start is this YouTube video from Photoshop Cafe.
When it comes to finding textures there are three options: make your own. Purchase textures, I have bought textures from Sue Woollard, because they particularly suit flower photography. Or download textures that you don’t have to pay for.
Over the years, I have come to rely on these five sites to download textures for free.
Huge range of textures at this site. These are free to use commercially. There is a limit of 5 downloads a day, which increases to 50 downloads a day if you create an account. Which again is free. freestocktextures.com
Unsplash is a site where photographers can upload photographs which in turn can be downloaded for free. There is a massive range of images on this site, which are free to be used commercially. This site is a photographer’s exchange so why not submit pictures as well as download. Go to the site and search for textures there are hundreds to choose from. unsplash.com
Pexels is another community site. You can. You don’t have to. Upload images and you are free to download images. The images can be used commercially. You can credit the photographer, but it is not necessary. There are many different texture categories. pexels.com
This is as its name implies is a site dedicated to textures and they are all free. The site was created for CGI designers who require different backgrounds for animations, films and games etc. However, it is a great resource for photographers. So on this site, there are less abstract textures and more actual photographs of metal, wood, brick and concrete etc. The images are free to use even commercially. texturify.com
Flickr was one of the first photography hosting sites. This has now grown into a vast photography community with millions of accounts and billions of photos. As a result, the site can be an excellent source of imagery. Photographers have posted thousands of textures which are fully downloadable. Search for textures, and use the dropdown on the top left to refine by the type of licence. There are over 300K images with no known copyright restrictions. flickr.com
There are lots of other ‘free’ looking sites out there, but they often come with a sting in the tail, to part you from your money
Free Textures: Tips
Textures in Photoshop
There are textures available to use in Photoshop, but they are difficult to find. Go to Window>Extensions>Adobe Paper Texture Pro
Changing Texture Colour
Keep the texture but change the colour. It is often useful to be able to take creative control of the colour. Here is how in Photoshop.
- Open the texture image.
- Turn the image to monochrome: Image>Adjustments>Black and White>OK.
- Adjust to reveal the texture: Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast – bring the brightness up and take the contrast down >OK
- Change colour: Image>Adjustments>Hue and Saturation>tick Colorize – change the colour using the sliders >OK
My Library in Photoshop
To store textures in Photoshop try using Libraries. Window>Libraries.