From Emily Smith.com (click on link to see an excellent site on decorative painting)
text below is from Emilysmith.com:
"Faux painting, fine art, and decorative finishing add beauty and value to your home. Color
washing, frottage, sponging, ragging, stippling, stri'e, and dragging are all faux painting techniques that will create a
mood or the illusion of texture on a plain wall. You can opt for real texture by using venetian plaster, textural plaster,
or even a crackle faux finish can add texture and variation to a space or object.
Distressing and antiquing glazes can also add to the effect by creating an "Old World" charm
and elegance. Trompe l'oeil murals can make a space appear larger by creating the illusion of a door or window with a painted
scene to reflect your mood. Trompe l'oeil murals are good ways to introduce a focal point to a room. Last, but not least don't
forget the artwork. A good fine art painting does alot to help the aesthetics of a room. Watercolor paintings, acrylic paintings,
oil paintings, tempera paintngs,... no matter what the medium, pick something you love."