When ever I create a trompe-l'oeil illusion of a broken wall to reveal a different landscape I usually use stone device. But, even I get tired of that. So a couple years ago I was given the chance to try something different. A customer had a large pool house and wanted to have a trompe-l'oeil illusion of a beach scene on a tall wall that faced you as you entered the structure. There was no way I could use the stone effect in this situation so I had to devise another visual plan to create depth.
He LOVED Jimmy Buffet and all of the stuff that went along with that. So .....there was my theme...a beach scene. I painted the remaining walls above and to the side to look like old sun bleached wood. The kind of stuff you'd see on a beach house. A long time ago I had seen a painting with this old bleached wood and I remembered how I wanted to convey it in this situation. The faux wood gave me the foundation for the structure I had to open up for my trompe reveal.
I didn't just want to have wood painted everywhere so I added an extra window above the real one. I create a long transom window. I made the details very clean and tight...right down to the painted brass hinges on the top of the window frame.
The 'break device' I used was as if the wood opened up to a thatched roof of a beach hut and the use of the ropes from the hut to the painted beach poles...the angles of the beach chairs, sway of the palm trees, etc.,. Stone is excellent for creating trompe-l'oeil depth because each stone block (fieldstone or square chiseled) has perspective lines all pointing backward to the art vanishing point. The stone angles are hard and perfect.
A beach landscape has no visual device that conveys depth. You really need something that attaches from the foreground to the back. Something you can get a good angle from to demonstrate depth. I used everything I could think of that would be appropriate for the scene. In short; I was desperate for imagery and would have tossed in the kitchen sink if it would have been appropriate.
The beach adirondak chairs were photographed from two miniatures the customer had in the room. I arranged them in a paired setting and turned them slightly to give me some depth. I photographed them and then created a large xerox print that was charcoal transferred to the wall. This way, the chairs were perfectly rendered and the angles seriously aided in providing some depth.
This painting was beautiful but the most difficult aspect was to achieve a depth perspective and the very nature of the softness of the beach landscape made this next to impossible. If I had this art to do over again I would have added some bleached wooden crates, an overturned boat with some good angles, a fishing pole leaning against a foreground pole and another on top of a wooden crate pointing towards the center vanishing point. Maybe a string of drying fish for foreground details, a fish net...just more stuff in general.
While I have no detail photo to illustrate this: the faux post cards taped to the painted wood wall on the left were places that they had visited and were signed by various members of the family.