This painting depicts comedic magician (and illusionist) Robert Strong. It started life being created 100% using the Procreate app on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil as an entry in their annual Illusion-themed Art Prize contest (which it wasn’t selected for). Then I continued in Corel Painter 2021 on a MacBook Pro with a Wacom Intuos Pro pen tablet to the state you see it shown here, which I call the “final” state…for the moment… As Leonardo da Vinci famously said: “art is never finished, only abandoned.”

Now it’s test-time! See how many illusions and historical references you can find embedded and hidden away in this artwork. To give you a little clue…I just counted 18. Rather than share them here and spoil it for those trying to spot them, you can instead write to me on email ( and I’ll send you a list!

You may get a few clues if you carefully watch this time-lapse replay video showing the Procreate portion of the creative process:


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