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A Trompe L'Oeil From Sketch To Finish.

Updated: Feb 18, 2022

I thought it might be of interest to show how I paint a trompe l'oeil. Trompe l'oeil is French and means fooling the eye.


I picked a project I painted years ago. It was necessary to carefully design the sketch from which I then calculated and crafted the architectural parts of the painting onto the wall.


The project allowed me to depict a Spanish-inspired scene as the company, a tiling company, wanted to welcome their customers into a Mediterranean setting, as most of their tiles stemmed from Italy, Portugal, France or Spain.


There was another perk to this project. Alongside the company I was commissioned to design a new floor, covering the old terrazzo tiles (which were also quite nice but we decided to modernise).

This company was way ahead of its time and they had developed a way to create inlays of marble into concrete floors which were not as popular back then as they are now. The floor turned out spectacular and complimented my mural really beautifully.


The Sketching Steps Before the Mural is Painted


I created a collage of the sketches I made prior to painting on a wall. Trompe l'oeils need careful consideration. In this case, I needed to calculate and adjust the width of the columns that created the base for the arches, find the most efficient vanishing point, allowing each arch to look convincing, which can get tricky in a large room a person can roam around, hence the vanishing point changes all the time. The balustrade "behind" the arches needed to be treated with consideration.



Details for the columns' capital* also require skills in drawing in perspective (*the top of the shaft of a column (I will add a link in case you would like to find out more about columns please take a look here: https://classroom.synonym.com/parts-of-a-column-12000121.html).



I painted the mural a long time ago, hence the quality of the photographs, they are polaroids!) This capital is octagonal and will receive ornamentation in a later step.



Hopefully, it will look like this sketch!




Designing A Concrete Marble Floor Fit For The Painting


A floor in the making. The concrete of the still unfinished floor is also used in my painting. You can still see the terrazzo parts of the original floor. The columns are also painted in the marble of the marble inlays, which results in a continuous visual flow.


The Final Look





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