Trompe L'oeil Tatted Doily

Trompe l’oeil literally means

“to fool the eye.”

Trompe l’oeil is a painting technique used for murals and decorative painting to add depth, flair, and give the illusion that objects and scenes are three dimensional.

In this case, the tatted doily is painted freehand on to a wooden shelf, using acrylic paint, and sealed with Waterborne polyurethane. It looks complicated but really is as simple as using white paint and a fine paint brush to paint circles and arch shapes connected, as to suggest the shape of a tatted doily. The trompe l’oeil effect is achieved by then using a dark brown or black paint, watered down, to shade around the white painted tatting.


I first learned the basics of this painting techniques from the books listed below. I found the books by Roberta Gordon-Smith most helpful:


Trompe L'Oeil Bible
By Christopher Westall