Sunday, January 16, 2011

Project in progress: Trompe L'oeil upholstered elevator

Since this blog will also serve me like a sketch book,  I thought it might be fun to show you what I was up to and working on currently. 

A few months ago I was approached by a client who has a small elevator going from the ground floor of her apartment building(which is a large New Orleans victorian divided into apartments) directly to her apartment.  Since she owns it, so she decided that she wanted it to be upholstered in red silk.  The interior walls of the elevator are all metal and will not hold upholstery staples, so I was hired to paint it as if it were upholstered using tompe l'oeil techniques.

The client suggested a  playful rendition of red silk upholstery, gold rope in between each panel with gold french knots at each of the four corners of the diagonal panels.

Below is my inspiration for the project:

Red silk fabric

Gold rope between panels
Gold french knots at the four corners of the panels
My color inspiration: Overall painted fabric needs to be a rich, regal red.
My design inspiration: I want the elevator to ultimately feel like this.  Instead of green, the fabric will be red and gold rope on the diagonal, with gold french knots at each corner.  I will use paint and some shadowing techniques to make the flat surfaces appear to be three dimensional!

My sample which was approved by my client however, we both agreed the red needs to be deeper and more "regal" and the knots aren't quite right.  This sample uses the materials I will actually use on the walls of the elevator; architectural paints, glazes and varnishes.

A watercolor sample of what one wall of the finished elevator will look like.

I leave you with this definition: Trompe L'oeil is french for 'deceive the eye'.  A technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects appear in three dimensions.

When I finish, I will post pictures of the completed project.  Have a great week! 

1 comment:

  1. How FUN, E. Lee! Can't wait to see how it comes out!!!!