Posts Tagged ‘trompe l’oeil’

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.