Mycks Murals: Trompe l’oeil Fish Out of Frame

So here we are. We’re starting a new art project in our studio, the Mycks Mural :) Yep, shockingly real illusion on people’s walls. And here on this blog, we plan to showcase our mural process.

Today as you can see, we’ve just completed a mural with a gigantic Striped Bass being fished right out of the painting.

We’ve tested it, a person actually had to try to touch the painting to make sure it’s actually just a mural on the wall :) Cool huh? Success. Yessir~~!

Here is the process we used (this is like a secret recipe..use with care):

Stage1. Taping

We first taped off the area of the frame that we were going to paint. A rough sketch was done inside the frame, too, to see where the painting will go.

Stage2. Frame Base Coat

Here we put a base coat for the frame. I admit, we didn’t have the necessary color (here, yellow ochre which we went out and bought the next day) so the color got a little too yellow.

Stage3. Frame Pencil Draft

We now drew in the details for the frame using pencil.

Stage4. Painting the Frame

We started painting in the details for the frame. After this, we still needed to keep on glazing on colors to the base coat to make the color look like real gold frame.

Stage5. Rough Base for the “Painting”

One of us started the rough base painting for the “Sea Painting” while the other continued to work on the frame to make it more and more real and detailed.

Stage6. Developing the “Painting” and Frame

We glazed the frame part of the painting to make the color more real, and started putting in more details in for the “Painting.”

Stage7. Fish Base Rough

Now we started painting in the rough base for the “Fish.”

Stage8. Developing the “Painting” Some More

We painted in more details in the “Painting.” Couple boats that are fishing in the dramatic rough sea.

Stage9. Completing the Frame and its Shadow

We basically completed the frame and the most important ingredient for the whole illusion: Shadow of the frame.

Stage10. Working on the “Fish”

Starting to work in the fish. This fish needs to pop out the most, so strong contrast and lots of detail were a must.

Basic details beginning to emerge.

More details coming out.

The whole mural. At this stage we noticed that the fish was a bit too void of color, and the ocean color was in contrast starting to look too blue. We decided to adjust the color of the fish to more lively, colorful color by glazing technique.

Blue greenish glaze made the fish come alive. And we also added splashes of water in addition to a lure and a fishing line that is actually fishing out the “Fish” out of the “Painting.”

Detail of the fish and water splash.

Stage11. Adding the Fish Shadow

To complete the illusion, once again, we added the crucial component, the shadow of the “Fish.” Now it really looked like it was popping out.

OK, so that completes the mural process of the Striped Bass illusion mural.

It was really really fun. We’re immediately planning a second one, which will hopefully be a very cool illusion. Once we complete it, we’ll be sure to post the process here on our blog.

Thanks for looking~~



  1. Your mural is too cool! How long did this take you?

    • So sorry I didn’t reply for such a long time! Thank you for your comment.
      It probably took around a week. We (2 of us) worked a bit on it everyday :)

  2. Wonerful! sooo much fun…that is a lot of work!
    What type of paint did you use?

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