trompe l'oeil

Today, trompe-l'oeil has expanded in a new direction from the classical tendencies of days gone by. (Everything Nice by Debra Teare, 2007, oil, 13 x 10. Collection Christine E. Lynn.)

What is trompe-l’oeil?

A type of painting, usually a still life, which by means of illusionist devices persuades the viewer that he/she is looking at actual objects represented. In French, the term literally means a trick of the eye.

How to paint trompe l'oeil

Mastery of this oil painting technique requires a sound knowledge of both perspective drawing and chiaroscuro, or the use of shadow and light. The way you use the technique will also depend on whether you intend to create an entire trompe l'oeil piece, or just incorporate the technique in specific areas of the work, the way modern artists like Banksy and Salvador Dali have done.

See also: 10 steps to improve your trompe l'oeil