Perspective for a Trompe L’œil Mural

8 July 2024 Posted by: Kate Lovegrove

Trompe l’œil - to trick the eye

Creating a trompe l’œil requires an understanding of perspective to make the mural work visually. Perspective in mural art involves the use of techniques to give the illusion of depth and three-dimensionality on a two-dimensional surface. Here are some key points to consider:

Linear Perspective 

Linear perspective is the most fundamental aspect of creating depth in murals. It involves using lines and vanishing points to create the illusion of depth and distance. There are two primary types of linear perspective:

Eye level

The point at which the work is viewed from.

Keep in mind the viewer's perspective when creating your mural. Consider where viewers will typically stand or sit to view the mural, and ensure that the perspective works from that vantage point.

To work out the eye level, or the horizon level, you need to think about where the mural is most likely to be viewed from.  Eye level is not where your eyes are but where your eyes rest. Will the viewer be sitting or standing? I usually set the eye level for standing at 1 metre 40 centimetres which seems to work from sitting or standing if you are at the same level as your wall, by that I mean, not looking up at or down on it on a staircase fro example.

One-Point Perspective 

In one-point perspective, all lines converge to a single vanishing point on the horizon. This is often used when creating murals with a single focal point, like a long road or hallway.

Two-Point Perspective 

Two-point perspective involves two vanishing points on the horizon, and it is commonly used when depicting objects or scenes viewed from an angle. This technique is especially useful for creating a sense of depth in urban or architectural murals. 

If you are looking at a long wall, it is probably not possible for the eye to take in more than about 1 metre 20 centimetres of a view and also as you move along the mural your perspective will change.  I tend to use several vanishing points along the horizon.  Usually hiding these behind pillars or trees.  See photograph of this mural accompanying the blog; the floor would have very tiny slim diamond shapes in the arches to the left and right and so I gave them each a separate vanishing point on the two middle pillars and without the extreme distortion the design made more sense. 

Share This

Catherine Lovegrove Murals

Online shop for Kate's miniature trompe l'œil paintings, jigsaws and greeting cards07831 529
Make Space Studios, Newnham Terrace, London SE1 7DR, UK
Privacy Policy