Deke’s Techniques 330: Create a Penrose Triangle of Cubes in Illustrator

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke follows up his mesmerizing möbius strip technique from last week by making yet another impossible figure, a penrose triangle:

A penrose triangle of cubes created in Adobe Illustrator

Deke’s approach is to break the figure into these orthogonal cubes, a system which, according to Deke, keeps your brain from exploding while you’re trying to figure out which edge goes where. Basically, Illustrator does some of those mind-bending calculations for you. 

Check it out, and if you’re a member of, there’s an exclusive video this week in which Deke shows you how to add shading to the cubes to create this effect

Shade the penrose triangle for a reverse effect

If you’re not a member of and would like to check out out this exclusive movie or any other of the over 300 quick yet sophisticated (sometimes) dekeTips, you can get a free week’s trial at

Next entry:Deke’s Techniques 333: Selectively Converting Parts of Your Image to Black & White

Previous entry:Deke’s Techniques 328: Draw a M


  • Every Day’s A School Day

    I always learn so learn so much from your tutorials thank you. As someone not so adept at Illustrator I’ve watched these last few movies with great interest thank you….

    I’ve also learnt a new word, orthogonal. Now… must try to use it…...

Share your feedback, work, homages, questions, wisecracks, advice, critiques, riffs, derision (within reason), frustrations, and love of all things graphical. Log in (or register) to lend your voice.