Magazine article Arts & Activities

Op-Art Line Design

Magazine article Arts & Activities

Op-Art Line Design

Article excerpt

As each new school year begins, I find myself asking this question: Do I have enough time for a quality art lesson, after I've given my "Welcome-to-the-art-room rules and regulations, who do I remember, and where-shall-we-sit" speech? The lesson I have included here fits the bill. It's short, easy, clean and informative. I call it "Op Art Line Design."

Over the years, I have accumulated numerous optical-illusion visuals, which are displayed and accessible to pique student interest as they enter the art room. I also hang a portrait of M.C. Escher, several of his works and a print of Victor Vasarely's Vonal KSZ.

My fourth-graders walk in and see the intriguing collection. They are buzzing, trying to guess what we will do. But first, the aforementioned speech. After minutes of reacquainting and getting settled, I assure them that, yes, they will get to "do" some art.

[ILLUSTRATIONS OMITTED]

I then challenge them: "I bet I can make you think that drawn lines on paper can appear to move." I then present my sample. While they are staring, I rotate the design in a circular path. Comments of "whoa," "wow" and "neat" can be heard rippling through the room. This reaction is then guided into a discussion of optical illusions and the art style well known for illusions, Op art.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

They can't wait to try one for themselves. I then position myself where they can all see and I explain how easy it is to accomplish.

First, using a black marker, draw three or more rounded shapes on a piece of 12" x 18" white paper. …

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