Op Art

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Project Description

"OP Art " is an exciting art drawing project that will take students on a journey through the captivating world of Optical (OP) Art. This project encourages students to explore the mesmerizing realm of optical illusions, geometric abstraction, and vibrant color using color pencils. Throughout this project, students will gain a deep understanding of OP Art principles and develop their artistic skills.

Project Objectives:

Introduction to OP Art:
Begin the project with an overview of OP Art, its history, and its significance in the art world. Discuss famous OP Art practitioners like Victor Vasarely.

Materials and Techniques:
Familiarize students with color pencils and various techniques such as blending, layering, and precision detailing. Provide demonstrations and practice exercises.

Geometric Abstraction:
Teach students how to use geometric shapes and patterns to create optical illusions, depth, and movement in their drawings.

Color Theory:
Explore the principles of color theory, focusing on color harmony, contrast, and the psychology of color. Discuss how color choices can impact optical effects.

Symmetry and Balance:
Explain the importance of symmetry and balance in OP Art compositions. Show examples and guide students in achieving visual equilibrium.

Pattern Creation:
Encourage students to experiment with pattern design. Discuss the role of patterns in OP Art and their ability to engage the viewer.

Optical Illusions:
Introduce various optical illusions, including moiré patterns, afterimages, and kinetic effects. Discuss how to incorporate these illusions into their drawings.

Concept Development:
Encourage students to brainstorm and develop their own OP Art concept or theme. Emphasize the importance of creativity and personal expression.

Sketching and Planning:
Guide students in sketching and planning their OP Art drawings. Discuss composition, perspective, and the arrangement of geometric elements.

Creating OP Art Drawings:
Allow students ample time to create their OP Art color pencil drawings. Provide individual feedback and support as needed during this process.

Learning Objectives

Understanding OP Art:

Define and explain the concept of OP Art (Optical Art) and its historical significance in the art world.

Artistic Techniques:

Explore various color pencil techniques, such as blending, shading, and layering, and how they can be applied to create optical illusions.
Practice precision and control in using color pencils to achieve desired effects.

Geometric Abstraction:

Learn how to use geometric shapes and patterns to create the optical illusion of movement, depth, and three-dimensionality in two-dimensional artworks.

Color Theory:

Understand the principles of color theory, including color harmony, contrast, and the psychology of color, to effectively convey optical effects.

Symmetry and Balance:

Explore the importance of symmetry and balance in OP Art compositions, and learn how to create visually pleasing and harmonious arrangements.

Pattern Creation:

Develop the ability to design intricate and repeating patterns that engage the viewer's eye and create a sense of optical distortion.

Optical Illusions:

Study various optical illusions and their underlying principles, such as moiré patterns, afterimages, and kinetic effects, to apply them in OP Art creations.

Color Choice and Manipulation:

Experiment with color choices and how they can influence the perception of depth and movement in an artwork.
Gain proficiency in using color pencils to create smooth gradients and transitions between colors.


Rubrics have become popular with teachers as a means of communicating expectations for an assignment, providing focused feedback on works in progress, and grading final products. A rubric is a document that articulates the expectations for an assignment by listing the criteria, or what counts, and describing levels of quality from excellent to poor.

The rubric for the OP Art project can be viewed, downloaded and printed below. Enjoy

Element of Art


An element of art that is three-dimensional and encloses volume; includes height, width AND depth (as in a cube, a sphere, a pyramid, or a cylinder). Form may also be free flowing.

Artist : Victor Vasarely

Victor Vasarely  initially studied medicine but soon abandoned the field to take up painting at the Podolini-Volkmann Academy in Budapest. There, he studied with Sandor Bortniky, through which Vasarely learned about the functional artistic style taught to students at the Bauhaus art school in Germany. It was one of a variety of styles that would influence Vasarely before he became the patriarch of Op Art, an abstract form of art featuring geometric patterns, bright colors and spatial trickery.

Project Example

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Blending Techniques

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Project Demonstration

Student Work


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You're Ready to Start Your Project.

Project Submission

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Op Art Comments

Op Art
     What I didn't like about the Op Art project was all of the time it took and all of the extra time too. But this project was not all bad I liked how we got to blend colors and match them up to the white so then it would look like it was a line that was not colored yet. Some things I would change would be the types of colors you can use and how you would put them together to make a pattern. The next thing I would change is the limit on how many lines you could be like 4-6 lines so then it wouldn't take too long for them to finish the project. the final thing I would change would be the size of the lines and the paper so then the lines are even in how many colors you put in the 4-6 lines make 10-15 lines in each of the 4-6 lines the kids make.      
OP Art
The OP Art project was my least favorite project, here is why. The OP Art project was very repetitive after doing it for a while. It did not turn out very well in the end either. I would have changed doing the OP Art, by that I mean I would not have done it, I would have swapped it for the Still Life project. In conclusion the OP Art was my least favorite project and I would have swapped it out for the Still Life project.
OP art
This project was my least favorite because it is just not fun to color. Plus drawing the lines are really complex shading the colors also takes a lot of time. I would change how many colors you can use.
OP Art
     The project OP Art is much like the self-portrait project. Both of these projects required shading and toning. Another thing is that they both need texture, line, and contrast. They were different because OP Art contained color, while the Self-Portrait did not. In conclusion, this is how the projects OP Art and the Self-portrait are both alike and unlike.
op art
this is my least favorite. it sounded fun but took to long and was less fun than expected. it quickly became boring and was harder than I originally expected. but at least I could just zone out and finish which allowed me to play super smash bro when I finished.
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