Using just charcoal and chalk pastel, Vancouver-based artist Fiona Tang makes huge large-scale murals of animals on paper. Fiona Tang makes use of a technique known as trompe l’oeil where shadows and perspective within the two dimensional drawing are used to trick the viewer into thinking the piece is three dimensional. Fiona Tang recently graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, You can see more of her work over on Facebook. Checkout her blog on tumblr as well.
“trompe l’oeil” is a French term which means “trick the eye”. Also known as illusionism, it’s a style of painting which gives the appearance of three-dimensional, or photographic realism. It flourished from the Renaissance onward. The discovery of linear perspective in fifteenth-century Italy and advancements in the science of optics in the seventeenth-century Netherlands enabled artists to render object and spaces with eye-fooling exactitude. Both playful and intellectually serious, trompe artists toy with spectators’ seeing to raise questions about the nature of art and perception.
This story originated in ancient Greece:
Two painters were rivals in a contest. Each would try to make a picture that produced a more perfect illusion of the real world. One, named Zeuxis [ZOO-ziss], painted a likeness of grapes so natural that birds flew down to peck at them. Then his opponent, Parrhasius [pahr-HAY-zee-us] brought in his picture covered in a cloth. Reaching out to lift the curtain, Zeuxis was stunned to discover he had lost the contest. What had appeared to be a cloth was in reality his rival’s painting.