How to Paint a Road on a Wall

The French word trompe l'oeil means to trick the eye.
Notice how the road narrows as it moves toward the horizon.Notice how the road narrows as it moves toward the horizon.
It employs a three-dimensional method of painting to create a sense of reality. It goes back to the Romans who painted their walls to simulate columns, niches and open windows with beautiful landscapes. Modern-day homeowners often pay artists to paint common architectural features in their homes such as windows, doors, archways, columns, landscapes and seascapes. To paint a road on the wall, you'll need to "trick the eye.

Step 1

To paint a road on a wall, you first need to learn a little about one-point perspective. In the photo above, the parallel lines of the road meet in the distance. The road seems to disappear. The spot where the lines meet is called the vanishing point. Imagine a horizontal line going from left to right at the vanishing point. This horizontal line represents the horizon. The horizon, where land and sky or ocean and sky meet, lands at eye level.

Step 2

Draw the horizon line on your wall with a pencil. You may put the horizon line at any level on the wall. It's a representation of eye level. Next, mark the spot where you want the vanishing point. It doesn't need to be as you look straight ahead. You can put it at any distance off to the right or left. If you put it off to the left, for example, you could draw a curved road or a road starting in the right corner and traveling in a straight line to the vanishing point.

Step 3

To give the illusion of an actual road, the parallel lines of the road will be wider in the foreground and narrowing as the two lines travel to the vanishing point in the horizon. Practice penciling in these lines on your wall. If you don't like the look, erase and try again until you get it like you want.

Step 4

When you finish drawing the road on your wall, you're ready to paint it. Think about how you want the road to look. A paved road would be gray to black in color. A dirt road could be dark brown, reddish brown or light brown. You could also paint the road in a color that doesn't represent realistic painting, such as purple or yellow.

Step 5

The easiest way to paint the road is with latex paint. Dip the paintbrush in the paint and, using long, broad strokes, paint in the direction that the road travels. If you want the road to be paved, paint a yellow or white line down the center.

Things You Will Need

  • Pencil
  • Latex paint
  • Yardstick
  • 4-inch paintbrush

About the Author

Julia Margaret writes for various online publications, specializing in gardening topics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from California State University, Northridge, and studied horticulture at UCLA Extension. Margaret also holds a Master of Arts in special education.