Masters of Illusion Elementary Unit

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Tricks of Perfection

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by Mary Erickson, Ph.D. and Arizona art teacher Hillary Andrelchik

Tricks of Perfection provides activities that teachers can use can use

  • to prepare young people to explore the Masters of Illusion exhibition at the Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA),
  • to focus their attention during a visit and
  • to create illusion in their own artworks.

Teacher/Parent Introduction (pdf)


Lesson One
Lesson One: Welcome to the Magic Show

Questor’s Questions about Realistic Art (pdf) 
How did they do that?
Basic Form Drawing Worksheet (pdf)

Lesson Two
Lesson Two: And the Curtain Goes up…

Watch My Hands Very Closely (pdf)


Lesson Three
Lesson Three: Tricks of the Trade

“Now You Try” PowerPoint 
Tricks of Perfection PowerPoint or How did they do that? PowerPoint
Large variety of crayons
Assorted colors of construction paper
Glue or glue sticks
White drawing paper
Apples or other round shiny fruits such as apples, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, tangerines or pears. One
fruit for every 3-4 students. Choose a variety to make finished drawings more interesting. Or choose magazine photographs of fruit.


Web resources
Computer and Digital Projector or SmartBoard
Sneak Peek of Masters of Illusion PowerPoint
Masters of Illusion Exhibition Artists
Mary Erickson Ventures



  • Richard Haas for permission to use photographs of his trompe l’oeil mural.
  • Patrick Bailey, Clinton T. Hobart, Ellen Murray Meissinger, John Schieffer for permission to reproduce their artwork used in Lesson Three.
  • Tom Eckert for permission to reproduce his artwork for Lesson One.
  • Hillary Andrelchik and Mary Erickson for photography.
  • Hillary Andrelchik for sample drawings.