The Medallion Step by Step


Here’s a great medallion step-by-step in the process of trompe l’oeil .  For those of you who attend the IDAL annual expo, you may have seen me demonstrate this process at my booth. Or, maybe you’ve seen it in my book, The Art of Faux.


(The Art of Faux – me with a younger hand)

Either way, I figure it’s time to publish this golden exercise on the blog. For my faithful audience, you’ll see a few recent posts on this subject.  See also:  Types of TL and Elements of light and shadow.


Preparation:  Transfer the design. I had this sketch stencil made for this classic design. It’s not a traditional stencil where you paint. The purpose is to use a pencil to transfer the design onto the canvas.  The medallion is approx 7 inches round.


Step 1:  Apply the HALFTONE – this step is probably the most important one because it sets up the  rest of steps.  Take care to know where your light source is coming from and the 3-D profile you are trying to achieve.


Step 2:  Additional layers of halftone. Make 2-3 swipes of the halftone while decreasing the space that you paint. Use a detail brush to make fine outlines.


Step 3:  Apply ACCENT color. This tonality is stronger than the halftone. Use this tone for drop shadows and accentuated outlining.


Step 4: Add HIGHLIGHT.  When you start the highlight, congrats, you’re way more than halfway finished. (bad picture, sorry)


Step 5: Finally, add the SUPER ACCENT to the darkest areas. Also mix a SUPER HIGHLIGHT color for a pop of light on the brightest spots.

Paint used: Golden Matte Fluid Acrylics, Golden Matte Medium

Brushes used: Filbert SablePointed Synthetic, and Lettering Synthetic.

Happy toning!




Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Jeremy P Taylor says:

    Wonderful step by step Pierre , thanks for sharing !

Speak Your Mind