Playing tricks on the eye is the name of the game in trompe l’œil, a style of painting that creates illusions of texture and depth. (Trompe l’œil is French for “fool the eye.”) In spirit and attention to detail, it has much in common with photorealism, with the main difference being composition and subject matter — in photorealism, the painter strives to accurately recreate any scene, but a trompe l’oeil painting is meant to create the illusion of a real object.
Patrick Kirwin, a trompe l’oeil master, shares his bag of tricks in his classes at The Art League. We recently visited the classroom to see how he paints picture-perfect marble:
And later returned to film him painting translucent moulding over that same marble — a classic trompe l’oeil look: