You also create the illusion of reality. You subtly invite readers to keep reading. As one of my friends said, "It's the proof that supports and sustains the story."
When done well, the sensory details penetrate layers of consciousness by grabbing readers both intellectually and emotionally.
Descriptive writing establishes characters and settings quickly and efficiently. Well-placed phrases move your prose along and act as a transitional device by linking scenes or changing of time and place.
I'm an artist and my words create pictures for readers.