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Having Fun with Trompe L’oeil

Sometimes art just falls flat, but most people would agree that trompe l’oeil is pretty cool, because really – who doesn’t like 3D optical illusions? They’re super neat, and anything but … well … flat.  

Renaissance painters were masters at it, though examples of the form can be found much further back in history. Today, we see it more often in street art (see above), but back then it was popular in painted artwork, murals and other décor for the home.

So, how can you have a little fun by bringing trompe l’oeil into your own space? Here are some ideas:

Mix Real & Make-Believe

We usually think of trompe l’oeil as a two-dimensional work, like a mural or painting, but there’s more than one way to create an illusion. Mixing replicas and imitations like faux plants in with the real McCoy to create a bolder, more vibrant installation is a tried and true trompe l’oeil technique.

Create Layers

In painted media, a 3D illusion can be worked directly into the canvas or wall by manipulating the perspective, shading and other factors. But, you can also enhance an illusion by positioning related objects in front of wall art (think potted palms in front of a beach landscape mural).

Display Reproductions

There are ways you can create or enhance trompe l’oeil, as we’ve mentioned, but there’s no substitute for the real deal – or a reproduction of the real deal. Though it may not be exactly popular, the style is famous and you can find examples of all kinds.

Keep in mind, though, that it’s not just wall art. Trompe l’oeil takes many forms – it can be any décor item that tricks the eye.

Have fun exploring this devilish décor technique and see how clever you can get in your next interior design or DIY project. 

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