Painted Illusions: A Creative Guide to Painting Murals & Trompe L'Oeil Effects

Timothy Plant, Author Salem House Publishers $22.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-88162-334-5
Opening with a chatty history of mural art from Stone Age cave paintings to European Baroque masterworks, this self-styled ``creative guide'' demonstrates the severe limitations of the currently fashionable trompe l'oeil technique. Modestly produced and showcasing artist Plant's work, the book offers generous but repetitious color photographs; overly descriptive advice on architectural devices and the whys and wherefores of illusionism; and an account of the making of a mural from start to finish. Discussions of how particular scenes were painted are helpful, but hard-nosed how-to instructions fall shortthey are either exactingly explicit or vague. (On the one hand, mood and expression of eyes and mouths are minutely assessed; on the other, we are archly told to find ``Bollom's Neutralic Sealer'' at the ``builder's merchants.'') The resulting murals, rigid in style, show a marked fondness for English Country. Yet architectural features, real or painted, are elaborately treated through explanatory drawingsthe book's strongest asset. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-1-4536-1318-4
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