Optical illusions can be fun and interesting. Our brains try to make sense of the image we see and everyone experiences these visual illusions in different ways. This activity is great for school-age children and adolescents. It allows them to enhance their fine motor skills through coloring and shading. By creating their own optical illusion, children tap into their cognitive abilities. They can learn a little more about how illusions work and how varying shades of colors can affect the way it’s seen. At the end of the activity, they can hang up the image and start a conversation with others about what illusions they see!
White piece of paper
Before you begin, make sure you have all your supplies and have a clear space to draw!
Step 1 - First we’re going to create a foundation for the optical illusion. Take your pencil and make a small dot in the center of the white piece of paper. Draw straight lines from the dot to the edge of the paper. To help, use a ruler or a straight edge. I made 12 lines on my paper, but you could do less or more. The important thing is to have an even number of lines.
Step 2 - Next, we are going to add some detail. So, take your pencil, and draw a curved line, like a hill, in one of the sections about an inch away from the center dot. Then, draw another curved line about an inch from that line. Keep drawing lines spaced out from one another until you get to the edge of the paper.
Step 3 - Then, once that section is done, work your way around the paper. Draw curved lines in every other section. Remember to leave space in between the lines. At the end of this step there will be the same number of sections that are blank and sections that have curved lines.
Step 4 - Next, it’s time to fill in the blank sections. We’re going to draw curved lines, but this time make them a u shape. So, draw a u shaped curve about an inch away from the center dot. Make another curved line about an inch away from that, and keep going until you reach the edge of the page. Repeat this process for the other blank sections. After that, use your black marker and trace over all the lines you just made. This will help to make the lines stand out more on your page.
Step 5 - Then, it’s time to add some color. For this optical illusion, we have to make a pattern. Choose 1 or 2 colors for the “hill” sections and 1 or 2 colors for the “u” sections. Starting at the center - the section between the dot and the first curved line - use your colored pencil and shade lightly in the middle of the section. Toward the edges of this section, shade in a little more dark. It’s important to blend the dark and light colors together so there aren’t any harsh differences between the two shades.
Step 6 - Then, leave a blank spot, and on the following section, after the blank, shade in the center lightly and the edges a little more dark just like before. Leave another blank spot, and repeat until you reach the edge of the paper. Fill in the other sections that have the same “hill” or “u” curves.
Step 7 - Next, take a different color, and shade the sections that have the opposite curved lines. If you colored the “hill” sections before, now color the “u” sections. Use the same technique for the shading. Start at the center, and color lightly. The edges should be colored darker. Repeat the steps like before.
Step 8 - Then, if you would like, you can stop here. However, you could also color in the blank sections using 2 different colors than you already have on your paper. At the end, you could have white spaces or you could have 4 different colors. The choice is yours!
Step 9 - Finally, when you are all done shading, your optical illusion is complete. Step back and look at your masterpiece. Do you think it’s playing tricks on your eyes? Share with a friend and ask them what parts of the page look like they are popping out!
~Made by Angelina