Painting surface smoothness

for the kind of tromp l’oeil effect that has the viewer think there is something wedged in the frame of the painting, like a banknote or a piece of paper, i suppose the quality of the illusion depends to a large extent on the smoothness of the painting surface? i’m thinking that any unevenness (e.g. if the paining surface is a canvas) will destroy the illusion especially if the viewer is going to come right up close to the painting and not just view it from afar?

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Yes–you want to make sure that the visual experience of the representation is as similar as possible to a past experience with something similar. The appearance of a texture that is not expected may be quick to diminish the desired experience.

With that said—there are MANY times in which a surface texture may contribute to a desired visual experience. Take contemporary artist Anthony Adcock for example. He excels at faux textures and many of them contain surface textures that really sells the intended experience.

Here’s a recent piece of his in which is his communicating a slab of steel:


wow! that’s fabulous :star_struck: i guess the reflections are actually painted?
had a look at his website and watched the video of him painting a sheet of plywood. such patience and attention to detail… the results are truly impressive. many thanks for sharing! :metal:

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He is a great painter! I love what he’s doing. The takeaway here is think about how certain factors might actually work FOR you before you start to strategize how to get around them or rid of them. An asset can sometimes be camouflaged at first glance.

Here’s a rather extreme example—but you’ll get the idea. Contemporary realist Will Wilson painted this beautiful painting of an “En Verso” canvas (Infrastructure 2012 15 3/4 x 15 3/4" oil on linen). Now actually, he painted it on canvas therefore the central region that looks like unprimed canvas is ACTUALLY the canvas itself.


Gijsbrechts with barbed wire :thinking:

very impressive. i love the detail of the scratched-off label with the title… and the frayed canvas edges… and the craquelure… it’s a wonderful piece of work, and i see he has quite a few others like this one. thanks anthony for showing something beautiful!