Friday, September 24, 2010

Op Art "Floating Spheres"

Kids love the power of being able to create optical illusions - and they're always shocked at how easy it is! I've done this lesson with students age 11 and up. Younger students make the shapes larger, and older students have fun overlapping, etc. Here is the lesson that inspired me, and another fun Op Art lesson is here too.
Step 1: Trace some circles on paper.
Step 2: Add curved lines (we call them horizontal "smiles and frowns" & vertical "c's and backward c's - OR "longitude and latitude" lines) to turn the circle into a sphere. Younger students can make less lines.
Step 3: Draw a grid for background, and remember to "jump over" the spheres with the grid lines.
Step 4: Color shapes, leaves every other shape white b/c the negative space is necessary to help create the optical illusion.
Step 5: Add shadows on sides of spheres.








Thanks North County Christian High School art students!!!!

6 comments:

Phyl said...

ooh - very cool!

Janie B said...

These look so cool. I think I may have my 6th graders try it. Think that age could pull it off?

Tisha Smith said...

Hi Janie, Yes- 6th graders can definitely do this lesson....Many do need more help w/ the background grid though. (Amazing how few know how to line up a ruler evenly on their page & put dots precisely at one inch marks across their page.) I show them exactly how to do this on the board to make the grid as even as possible.

Keri Smathers Pye said...

What an amazing lesson! I am going to attempt this with my 5th graders...but I'm going to have to figure out a way to simplify it and break it down step by step for some students....

Ruth Lee said...

Hi Mrs. Smith! I loved this lesson and did it with all of my classes. Here's a sneak peek: http://questartists.blogspot.com/2011/02/sneak-peek-optical-art.html

Thank you for the great idea!

Phyl said...

I've been googling ideas for op art lessons, and came back to this, but thought it was too hard for my little guys. But I've got an idea to make it easier for elementary kids. I've got some large graph paper. I'm thinking if they make their circles separately and cut them out and glue them on the graph paper, they can still color the illusion without all the measuring. What do you think?!