Painting Sharp Focus Still Lifes: Trompe L’Oeil Oil Techniques

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Dust jacket notes: "Still lifes of such exacting detail that you feel you can reach out and touch the objects – that you can count the flecks in the wood grain and see your reflection in the glass; this is sharp focus painting, or trompe l'oeil, which literally mean 'fool the eye.' The author, Ken Davies, a highly skilled painter and teacher, and master of the trompe l'oeil technique, shows how you, too, can learn to render trompe l'oeil reproductions of any subject you choose. The book is based on his successful course in sharp focus painting and is presented as a series of exercises and demonstrations. After an initial discussion of materials and perspective, the author offers a series of preparatory exercises for you to do: line drawing of simple and complicated shapes; black and white drawing in tone, using charcoal pencil and Conte; black and white value painting in oils; color value painting, in which you paint a color wheel, a color value chart, and a color mixing chart. When you have completed these preliminary exercises, you are ready to actually start painting. Step-by-step, the author guides you through the details of rendering a color still life, an all-white painting, an all-black painting, still lifes made up of objects with rough texture (wood, iron, paper, stone) and smooth texture (clear and colored glass, silver, gold), and a still life with reflected light. Then the author shows how to use different techniques: speed painting, monochrome wet-into-wet, drawing with a brush and thinned oil paint, painting still lifes under colored light, and finally, the techniques of glazing and scumbling. "The author then invites you to look over his shoulder as he paints, from start to finish, trompe l'oeil still life, tabletop still life, and outdoor still life. This section is further enhanced by a gallery of the author's work reproduced in full color." Includes 200 black and white illustrations, 40 full-color plates, glossary and index.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill Pubns (December 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0273000918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823038565
  • ASIN: 0823038564
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds

Customer Reviews

I bought this for my husband

One person found this helpful.
 on May 20, 2014
By Darolyn Ivey
I bought this for my husband, who is a 1970 graduate of Paier School of Art in Hamden, Connecticut. the book is by Ken Davies, who was one of his teachers. He had always wanted the book, and when I saw in on Amazon, I bought it for him. He enjoys the book and is using it as a refresher for painting still life art. He says it is a specialized book in sharp focus still life painting that he has an interest in pursuing in his retirement time.

A Great Approch to drawing and painting.

2 people found this helpful.
 on September 21, 2013
By ArtLover
This book is for the realist painter. Ken Davies and Ellye Bloom have done an excellent job in explaining how to create a believable representation of your vision. I recommend this book for anyone wanting to learn good painting skills. As an instructor of art, I am reminded of many things that I may have overlooked, which in this book has been well listed and demonstrated, step by step.

Great book. Great exercises for practice

 on September 27, 2014
By marujita
Great book. Great exercises for practice. You must follow instructions closely you will be amazed what you can come up with.

Trompe L oell Oil Techniques

One person found this helpful.
 on April 3, 2013
By Linda
This is an excellent book for anyone seriously interedted in oil painting and techniques it’s resourceful and very informative

Very Good

 on June 25, 2013
By Malcolm James Hunter
Excellant book for people who are interested in paintings with fine detail,would recommend to any artist who wants to improve his or her technique


 on December 7, 2012
By Wildwood
Technique is amazing. I had this book long ago and loaned it out, It was never returned. Now I have an old friend back. Ken Davies is such a talent

I love it

 on April 19, 2014
By HomerH
just perfect!

Love this book!

 on August 18, 2011
By Linda
This book is an excellent guide for the aspiring artist. I enjoy reading it as well as following his guide. I’m glad I bought it.

The best painting instructions

One person found this helpful.
 on August 6, 2013
By Michael J. Cavanagh
Well used copy of trompe l’oeil painting. Every serious oil painter should study and utilize the instructions and studies. Will give an incredible insight.

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