Trompe-L’oeil Still Life Painting

John Zadrozny is an alumni of the Aristides Atelier at Gage, in addition he has taken multiple workshops at Gage and at BACAA in San Francisco. He has exhibited work at the Fountainhead Gallery in Seattle and has been teaching at Gage since 2014.
9:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M.
All Levels Welcome
Gage Capitol Hill
The pigments I have chosen are for painting a sprig of ivy, which I will provide. If you would like to paint other objects, bring pigments appropriate for them (you may want other reds, yellows, oranges, etc.).


  • filberts in a range of small sizes, both coarse (hog bristle) and soft (natural or synthetic fibers). I prefer these:
    • robert simmons “signet” filberts — sizes 2, 3, and 4.
    • utrecht “mixed synthetic” filberts — sizes 2, 4, 6, and 8


  • white
  • brilliant yellow light (old holland)
  • yellow ocher
  • raw umber
  • burnt umber
  • cad green light (gamblin)
  • olive green (rembrandt)
  • transparent red oxide (old holland)
  • transparent earth orange (gamblin)
  • ultramarine blue

Medium either one of these:

  • oleo gel (rublev)
  • gamsol/linseed oil mixture

Supports: several (3 or 4) canvas panels, 8×10 or 9×12.

Other items:

  • palette
  • soft paper towels or lint-free rags
  • supplies for washing brushes
  • small containers for gamsol or medium
  • palette knives: one or two small ones for mixing paint

An object to paint (optional): I will supply sprigs of ivy, which will be ideal for our purposes and will enable us to fully investigate trompe-l’oeil painting. If you wish to use your own objects, please select items that are very thin and not very complicated.

Trompe-l’oeil paintings “fool the eye” and offer the illusion that items painted exist as solid objects in the three-dimensional world. You will learn aspects of composition that make such illusions possible, and learn painting techniques to help realize them. Demonstration and discussion topics will include the depiction of shadows, the handling of edges, chroma and temperature management, as well as techniques for guiding the viewer’s eye.