Evolution of an illusion

A couple of weeks ago I completed a trompe l'oiel wine cellar project with a twist. I took progress shots as I went along so that I could show how a project like this develops. I hope you enjoy this short journey through a 7 day mural project.

To begin at the beginning, here's the before shot. As you can see the room is finished except for the back wall. The ceiling is lined with brick veneer and the floor is large stone tile. I apologize for the blurry nature of this first shot, my cellphone is not the best instrument for this!

The unforeseen issue with this wall is the flush mounted door in the middle. It had been planned that this would be almost invisible but as you can see, the gap around the door is going to cause problems with any attempt at a 3d illusion. You will see how this gets tackled a little later.

Fist things first, let's establish a vanishing point for the perspective. In this case the vanishing point is going to be off center as the main impact of the illusion will be as you enter the room, which is the point where all of these shots are taken from. In this next shot you can see that I've established the perspective of the brick ceiling and have sketched in a rough layout of the room.

Once the basic composition is sketched in I begin building the space from the back forwards. Adjusting coloration and contrast as I go. These adjustments continue all the way through the final session and will eventually help to blur the line between the real room and the trompe l'oeil. 

As the details fill in I get to add some fun elements that will help to personalize the piece, as seen in the image below.

Below you can see the architecture on the left has developed, together with some suggestions of wine bottles on the right. All the time the color and tone are being "tweaked".

With background details mainly complete, the attention turns to the side walls which will be painted with faux brick and trompe l'oiel openings.


And finally... to take care of that black line around the door, I decided to paint a wrought iron gate in front of the whole scene. The black line is incorporated into the design and is disguised. 

A really fun project and a great way to open up a dead end space. This can be done on a much smaller scale and you can see many more examples on The Mural Works, Inc. website by visiting www.muralworks.com