How to Make Op Art

Written by natalie chardonnet
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How to Make Op Art
Abstract spiral shapes are common elements of Op art. (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

Op, or optical, art is a type of abstract art whose visual features cause the artwork to appear to move, vibrate or swirl. This type of art became popular during the 1960s and developed as a branch of the Pop art movement. Making your own Op art is possible, even if you have never created art before. Practice and preparation is necessary in order for your work to achieve the vibrating, pulsing effect that is so common in Op art. Gather your materials and get started.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Thick paper or card stock
  • Protractor or stencil
  • Ruler
  • Black pens or markers
  • Coloured markers

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  1. 1

    Draw a dot in the centre of your paper. This will be the focal point of the artwork and the basis for the movement that will emanate from your work.

  2. 2

    Decide whether you will create a circular pattern or a more abstract swirl pattern for your artwork. Once you decide, use the protractor or stencil to sketch lines with a pencil. Avoid drawing the lines too close or too far apart; if drawing circles, make the concentric circles about 1/8 of an inch apart. Use the ruler to ensure that your measurements remain accurate throughout the drawing process. Continue until you have filled the paper.

  3. 3

    Lightly mark every other space with a pencil. This will help you determine which lines to colour in and which lines to leave white.

  4. 4

    Colour in every other space on your paper. You can choose to create a black and white design, or you can use coloured markers to create a colourful work of art.

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