Sunday, December 6, 2015

5th Grade Op Art

Artwork by Emma

Op Art (Optical or Optical Illusion Art) was popular in 1960's and still shows up in various expressions today, especially in certain types of digital art.  This Op Art project begins with six straight lines drawn on a 10" by 10" sheet of drawing paper, creating what we refer to as a "square pizza."  In each pizza "slice" students drew a series of concentric organic shapes, alternating the direction of the curve in each pizza slice.  Every other stripe was then carefully colored in with a Sharpie.  Finally, students added highlights to the black sections with a white colored pencil and shadows to the white sections with a black colored pencil.  I emphasized how the highlights should fade into black and vice versa for the shadows to really turn the triangular sections into curving, 3D cones.  I thought the students did a fantastic job of being precise with this work, and they seemed to get a kick out creating a 2-D work that really does feel 3-D.

(For the other art teachers out there, I provide the paper already lined, as I find that most students have trouble drawing six straight lines that also all intersect in the same place. While some students are capable of doing it themselves, it's not worth the time that it would take to help the entire class with this part.  Otherwise, I love how this project shows these older students the power of shading and highlighting, and how it allows almost every student to create a work of op art that's really successful.)

Artwork by Cameron

Artwork by Maggie

Artwork by Seth

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