Posts Tagged ‘trompe l’oeil’

The marble headboard is finished. The colours chosen for this take on Carrara marble are shades of grey (but not fifty!).

The finished piece

Rather than the extremes of black and white, I have used Paynes Grey for the darkest, and mixed a value 8-9 grey for the lightest. White was used for the light fault lines.

The finish was built on MDF, sealed, then base coated with a pale beige silk emulsion.  The final finish is satin. What do you think?



Left to right: flogger, softener, spalter, stippler

It helps to have the right tools for the job.

I have a commission for a large faux finish piece, so I need the proper equipment to get it done. On a small decorative article I can use my ordinary artist brushes and achieve the desired results, but this one will need more time, and the correct tools.

It took a while to track them down, but after checking out various suppliers, I ordered them on-line.

To achieve the desired finish the paint has to remain ‘open’ – workable – for considerably longer than it would normally, so it is mixed with a glazing medium. An industrial size pot is needed, rather than the small quantities used in art work.

My commission is for a large faux marbre (marble) headboard, so I need a large stippler and a badger hair softener. For faux bois (wood), I’ll need a horse-hair flogger and a spalter. They’ve all arrived, so I’m ready to paint!

RIGHT! OK you lot, LISTEN UP! Now all the hoo-ha of Julie retiring is over, it’s my turn.

I retired last week, as well.

It was a bit like my own mini-Brexit – getting free from the oppressive constraints of a huge organisation that has lost it’s way, and being free to negotiate, and make better deals for myself. No more trying to fit things in around work, or taking a day’s leave to be able to get to an event; my time is my own to manage as I wish.

So – I’m available and free! (well, reasonably cheap), open to offers, and raring’ to go!

On Saturday I invited one of our BADFA members, Shirley, round to have a go at trompe l’oeil with some ideas that formed the basis of a one day class. The ideas stemmed from my ‘hole in the wall’ painting (see recent post).

We started with a blank canvas, literally, and began by designing something specifically to Shirley’s requirements. It’s not possible always to paint directly on to a wall, so we used a flat canvas which can be mounted in the proper place when finished. We decided on a small window in her downstairs bathroom, opening out over an imaginary flower border, which is bathed in sunlight.

The first stage was the planning and layout of the design. A bit of theory here, working out perspective and the other aspects that turn an ordinary mural into a trompe l’oeil – that trick of the eye.

After that we got out the brushes – well, after coffee. We chose colours to match the Michelmersh bricks used in her 100 year old house on the outskirts of the New Forest, and the imaginary oak lintel that would frame the window. Various brushwork techniques were used to get the textures just right. After more coffee, cake (Shirley’s home made), and more coffee, more painting, varied random conversations and more painting, we ran out of day. I hoped that I had armed my brave pioneer with the skills to finish the job at home.

I waited for the finished article to appear on Facebook.

… and here it is, just as I had hoped! The net curtain intensifies the ‘trick’, making the window look even more like the real thing on that important first glimpse. Well done, Shirley!

shirley tromp 1     shirley trompe 3

Tomorrow I teach my first class since … well, ages ago. It’s a bit of an experiment; a whole new session designing, planning and painting trompe l’oeil.

If all goes well, I’ll let you know … if it don’t, well, I’ll probably let you know anyway. Must get the wall ready, kettle on, you know – all the important stuff.