Friday, April 1, 2011

Avril Trompe L'oeil

April Fool The Eye!

And speaking of about the technique of trompe l'oeil, French for "deceive the eye". Given the right opportunities, paint is really the magician and over-achiever of all home decorating elements. With nothing more than paints and brushes, any surface can be transformed from Plain Jane Mundane into objects and architecture. Yes, practice and skill are required to manifest these tricks, but even a first attempt is so much for fun than not trying at all. The key to painting adventures is to be fearless. Always remember it's just paint, and you can paint over it if you don't like it. Don't you wish everything in life could be this simple?

So, in honor of April Fools Day, I thought I'd share a few of my eye deceptions, which were all first attempts when I painted them. All of these examples started out as plain white orange-peel walls. Although I don't believe any of these were worthy of being in the Smithsonian, I really enjoyed the process and the atmosphere they created.

Faux wood-paneled walls

This was a rental home, so some structural elements could not be changed.
Faux stone block wall
Faux Tuscan window with a view
If you really want the best optical illusion., the key to trompe l'oeil is understanding perspective and lighting, Without that understanding, your paintings will be pretty murals on the wall, but they will lack the dimension to qualify as trompe l'oeil or fool anyone. Perfecting that skill can be very technical and taxing, which is evident in my own examples' many flaws, but even a bad attempt enhances the atmosphere in a room. So just go for it, and have some fun.

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  1. Maria, those are just amazing! (And great idea for a non-annoying April Fools!) I am just bowled over at how realistic they look.

  2. Thank you Barbara. You're sweet. :) But you know artists. We're terribly critical of our work, and never quite satisfied. They were still fun to paint though. You should try it! :)

  3. Beautiful! And I agree about perspective and lighting - I've seen these before that didn't have the depth and looked so flat. Yours are just stunning. And real. I could look through that window all day...

  4. Thank you Amy! Mine are very novice looking, but I still enjoyed them. And I could look through that window all day as well. I wanted to feel like I lived in a Tuscan castle, so why not create that view, especially when you live with a gray Oregon day.......:)


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