Masters of Illusion Secondary Unit

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Tricks of Perfection Overview

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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

Tricks of Perfection PowerPoint
How did they do that? PowerPoint
Questor’s Questions about Realistic Art


Lesson Two
Lesson Two: And the Curtain Goes up…

Watch My Hands Closely (pdf)


Lesson Three (Advanced)
Lesson Three: Tricks of the Trade

Resources and Supplies
“Now You Try (Advanced)” PowerPoint presentation
Flat items (such as playing cards, postcards, sticky-notes, paper money) for students to use as subject matter for a drawing
Graphite pencils
White drawing paper
Interesting Composition Worksheet (pdf)” worksheet (one copy per student)

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.