The Art of trompe-l’œil

MODULE 2 - The Art of Architectural Trompe-l'oeil: Moldings and Ornaments of style painted in trompe-l'oeil

Join us in beautiful southwest France to study with award-winning decorative painting artist Michel Nadaï.  The focus of this course will be on building a much greater understanding on the techniques of painting architectural trompe-l’œil, covering the theoretical aspects as well as the actual painting techniques.  You will learn how to render convincing trompe-l'œil effects for your moldings and ornaments.  As Michel walks you through the techniques, you will not only learn what tools and colors to use, you will also learn the 'language' of architectural trompe-l'œil that will make painting moldings and ornaments much easier once you acquire this vocabulary.  Each panel you will execute in class will take into account the training that will lead to mastery in painting trompe-l’œil.  Design of panels will be provided by instructor. 


Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced painter, trompe-l'oeil is an artistic discipline that will allow you to grasp, deepen and even enrichen your artistic statement.

Highlights of the program - what you will learn:*

• Elements of Light and Shadow

• Techniques of striping and faux molding :

   - using the proper tools to create the linings
   - study of various types of filets (linings) that compose a molding
   - study of various molding profiles

   - acquiring the proper vocabulary of trompe-l'oeil

• Techniques of ornamentation painted in trompe-l’œil :
   - transfering the design using the pouncing technique
   - using the proper tools to render the ornaments of style painted in trompe-l'oeil
   - creating aged effects and patina of ornaments painted in trompe-l'oeil

• Composition of Style

• Techniques of French Grisaille

• Techniques of painting a Grotesca panel with egg tempera

• Students will render several beautiful panels - design will be provided by the instructors.

Training method and certification of the course - what to expect of the course:
- Theoretical explanations and demonstrations on a daily basis.
- Immediate hands on practice through daily exercises.
- Students create individual panels on canvas (design provided by instructor).
- Instructor folows through each student's progress on a daily basis.
- Students receive a Certificate upon completion of the course.

Scroll down the page to see weekly program!


Dates:  from October 22nd, 2018 to November 23rd, 2018 (5 weeks - 175 hours of class)

Venue:  Atelier Nadaï, 8 rue François Arago, 47000 Agen, France
Our next autumn/winter session will be held in our new atelier in the town of AGEN in the Lot et Garonne.  For more information on how to get to our atelier, please click here

Who can apply:  This course is open to beginners or professionals, looking for a complete and in-depth training in rendering decorative architectural moldings and ornaments painted in trompe-l’œil.

Michel Nadaï, recipient of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France award (Best Craftsman of France award).
Caterina Manisco (for week 5 - techniques of Grotesca)

Certification of the course :  
Students receive the school's Certificate upon completion of the course.  Certificate will mention that he or she studied with a recipient of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France award (Best Craftsman of France award).



Excerpts from workshop Trompe-l'oeil Level I

To receive our course brochure please go to Contact and send us an email.



SCROLL DOWN THE PAGE to see photos!


Week 1 - October 22nd to October 26th, 2018 (5 days)
Trompe-l'oeil Level I - Introduction to trompe-l'oeil
Learning how to create linear trompe-l'oeil (linings), to render architectural moldings and ornaments of style painted en trompe-l'oeil

Week 2 - Octobre 29th to November 2nd, 2018 (5 days)
Trompe-l'oeil Level II
Rendering a decorative panel with architectural ornaments and moldings of style painted in trompe-l'oeil.

Weeks 3 and 4 - from November 5th to November 16th, 2018 (10 days)
Trompe-l'oeil Level III
Rendering of a decorative panel with ornamentation of style painted in trompe-l'oeil and central decoration treated in grisaille.

Weeks 5 - from November 19th to November 23rd, 2018 (5 days)
The Art of Grotesca
Bonus week!
Decorative panel painted using techniques of Grotesca and tempera taught by Caterina Manisco!

*highlight of the program is for informative purpose; the program may therefore receive modifications if necessary.
*Possibility of taking the module in its entirety, or taking the week(s) of your choice.  Please contact school for more information and to learn about registration procedures.