Anamorphic still life

Oil on canvas, 18 by 12 inches

May 2, 2021

This is an anamorphic painting, which means it looks distorted unless you view it the right way. The first photo was taken facing the canvas straight-on; the second was taken at an angle. The most famous example of this type of painting is Holbein's Ambassadors, which has a skull near the bottom which has to be viewed at an extreme angle.

To make this painting, I started with a photograph. Then I distorted it in GIMP to match the canvas dimensions, viewing angle, and viewing distance. To get the drawing accurate before painting, I used a projector (photo below).

Finally, to get the colors right, I would paint some color onto a piece of scrap paper and hold that up to the photo. That way you can see whether your mix needs to be lighter, bluer, or whatever.

Copyright © 2021 Sal Elder