OverviewThis lesson will focus on student's measuring a grid with a ruler and utilizing coloring and shading techniques to create an optical illusion.
How can we successfully illustrate an optical illusion on a flat surface?
Student Learning Objectives
- Use a ruler to create a 1 inch grid on their paper
- Use complementary colors
- Use shading techniques to create an optical illusion
- What is an optical illusion?
- What makes this work a successful optical illusion?
About the Artist
Victor Vasarely is widely regarded as the father of Op-Art. He is a major master of 20th century art whose paintings are in the permanent collections of many important museums around the world.
During the 1960s and 1970s his optical images became part of the popular culture, having a deep impact on architecture, computer science, fashion, and the way we now look at things in general. Even though he achieved great fame he insisted on making his art accessible to everyone. His motto was “Art for all”.
The breakthrough brought by his “kinetic” visual experiments transformed the flat surface into a world of unending possibilities, book marking an era in the history of art and foreshadowing a new global reality shaped by programming and the internet.
Vasarely established the fundamental unites, the “A, B, C” of his new idiom derived from the basic elements of geometry. The cirlce, the triangle, the square, and their variations that would be matched to many different color scales: a fine arts “software” providing infinite possibilities to the creative act.
For more information on the artist and examples of his life’s work, visit his website: www.vasarely.com
Optical illusions are pictures that play tricks on our eyes and baffle our perception. They are not the result of faulty vision. Depending on light, viewing angle, or the way the picture is drawn, we may see things that aren’t there – and often don’t see what’s right under our nose. These tricks of the eye and mind have been part of human experience since the beginning of history. The ancient Greeks made use of optical illusions to perfect the appearance of their great temples. In the Middle Ages, misplaced perspective was occasionally incorporated into paintings for practical reasons. In more recent times, many more illusions have been created and implemented in the graphic arts.
Materialssquare white construction paper, colored pencils, ruler, eraser, pencil sharpener, compass (optional)
On a white piece of paper, draw out a circle with a compass. If you do not have a compass, trace a circle from a cup.
Using a pencil and ruler, draw a 1-inch grid around the circle first. Once the grid is complete, draw a total of eight rounded lines in the circle. All lines should be curved away from the middle of the circle.
After finishing the pencil drawing, it is time to color! Using a colored pencil, begin coloring your board. When using only one color, start by avoiding the top corner square. Since this is a checkerboard design, make sure you are coloring every other square. Do the background first, then color in the circle the same way.
Note: It is okay if the checkerboard on the circle does not perfectly line up with the background. The optical illusion will still work!
Once you are finished with the colored pencil, it is time to do the shading. Using a graphite pencil, color in a dark outline around the original circle you drew. Draw the line very dark! Using your knuckle or a paper towel, rub the dark graphite line to create a shadow effect. Repeat until your illusion is popping off the page!