Op Art

Op Art is short for Optical Art, an art movement that began in the 1960s. It is an abstract art that uses optical illusions by creating the appearance of movement, swelling, warping, hidden images, vibrating or flashing. Many of these pieces also use black and white only, and by doing so the artist creates quite a contrast. This usually further enhances the optical illusion.


In "Movement in Squares" by Bridget Riley, the squares appear to be moving on collapsing on themselves inward. The height of the black and white squares remains the same. The width decreases, however, creating the illusion.


This picture uses curved black and white lines, along with highlights and shadows, to create the illusion of cones merging on a point (or ripples in a fabric). If you notice, the artist alternated white and black where the cones bump up against each other, helping the viewer to better see that the cones are separate.



While some Op Art can look very complex, but the littles can have fun with this one too. Using their hand to create an outline, they can use markers to create the illusion of a hand being on the paper. The lines begin from the left (or right) as straight lines. Those lines will curve over the arm, hand and fingers to create an illusion of a hand resting on the paper.








So many fun pictures you can create in the Op Art style! And the supplies are very simple, too! I would recommend paper, markers or crayons, but just about any medium will work here. What design will you choose? I will be posting a video with more about Op Art as well as creating an Op Art project myself. Look forward to seeing you then!

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