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Through the play of shadow and light, a stencilled painting can look almost real ¿ with texture, gradations of colour and a three-dimensional quality that fools the eye. Unlike freehand trompe l¿oeil, stencilling is easy to learn so even beginners can get great results with a little practice.

Trace and cut stencils with bridges, or multi-step ones that break down each element in the drawing. Begin with simpler designs ¿ like a pleated fan, perhaps ¿ that teach shading skills and then see how to capture the delicate tones of a perfect rose or portray a pet. With 3-D stencilling, draw a variety of detailed still life pictures, including a fruit bowl and a shelf with tea dishes on it. Over 35 projects to try your hand at.