This section provides a list of techniques, materials, and common references that are frequently used in the design and decorative painting profession.

Tortoise shell

It is forbidden for sale but we have enough available samples to copy it with more or less fantasy, and at a larger scale than what is observed in nature. It looks gorgeous in any color: orange, red, yellow, sienna, blue or green. It is a bravura finish that requires a good eye to reach realism and credibility more than any particular technical dexterity. It brings a grand and wild look, on mirrors or walls, and an expensive touch on objects. On a large surface it is recommended to faux squares or rectangles of this substance and to display them in a geometrical pattern, a star-like pattern for example. It should be sealed with a gloss varnish.

Trompe l’oeil

It is not a decor, similar to a theater decor or a mural; it is a painting that fools the eye by the realism of the subject and its execution. It can be a fake window or door, a dog waiting for you at the foot of your steps, or birds perched on a cornice. It is supposed to surprise you and trick you into believing that it is real. To achieve this illusion, the location and perspective of the subject, its colors and size must have been thought out carefully in conjunction with the surrounding architecture. If it is not believable, it has lost its interest. Sometimes artists even fake the presence of doors or windows (such as the famous doors painted by Christian Berard), headboards or furniture; this time, it does not fool the eye, yet it contributes to an elaborate fantasy decor that is original, fresh and visually pleasant. A large Trompe l'oeil expands a room to a pluri-dimensional space. The walls are no longer the limit, and the furniture is organized around the design. Floor patterns as well can make wonderful Trompe l'oeil when furniture and paintings make walls unavailable for a special treatment. Indeed, the sole artifice of a small Trompe l'oeil can achieve the transformation of a room.