The Art Project:  Optical Art

This art project is based on Vasarely’s “Vega-Nor” print. We will try to create an Optical Art project that fools the eye.

MATERIALS NEEDED: Ruler, paper, pencil with eraser, black Marker.


Step 1
If you keep you geometric shapes simple and only use one color, it will be easier to work on your first optical art project. You need to keep in mind that we are only using black and white this time and that when you do your artwork there will be black shapes next to white shapes at all time. This means that you do not have any of the black shape sides next to any sides of the black shape or a white shape next to any sides of white shape.

Step 2
On this example you will need to take your ruler and do straight lines across the paper, about an 1" apart (you can use the width of your ruler as a guide if you wish so you don't have to measure each line).

Step 3
Then take your ruler again and on one section of the spaces you have created with straight lines do lines going across but slightly sideways, not straight across, using a ruler so that they are about an 1" apart (if you use your ruler's width again, as a guide, you don't have to measure them).

Step 4
Repeat those lines from top to bottom.

Step 5
On the next space do the same lines but go the opposite direction starting from the point the vertical lines meet the slanted lines (using again the width of the ruler instead of measuring).

Step 6
On the next space do the same diagonal lines but do the lines in the same direction as you did in the first space.

Step 7
On the next space do the same diagonal lines but do the lines in the same direction as you did in the second space.

Step 8
Do the same for the next spaces, alternating the direction of the lines direction.

Step 9
Now you are ready to start with the first space again and do one slanted square black and skip the next one (so that the next slanted square stays white). Do so until there is one black square and one white all the way through.

Step 10
Do the same with all the other slanted squares so that there is always a black square next to a white square.

Step 11
When you are finished if you look at it from a far you can see that it give you the illusion
of the paper folding at the vertical lines! Sometimes it seems as though there are cubes too.

Step 12
You can go ahead and try another optical art project by creating different size squares, circles or other shapes and coloring the shapes so that there is always a side of the black shape next to a side of the white shape.

Once you have practice doing basic black and white optical art you can also try to use color for more exciting art illusions.



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