This Valentine Op-Art lesson was inspired by the art of British artist Bridget Riley. I knew that the boys in my 5th grade class were not going to go for the traditional valentine project this year, so adding a heart to an Op-Art hand drawing seemed like the perfect compromise!
I’ve done this project a few times now, and some of my 5th, 6th and 7th graders have struggled with it a bit. So, through trial and error I came up with a slightly different approach than the directions I first found via Pinterest. I think it’s easier this way…. try it and let me know what you think!
- Black (UF) Sharpie
Directions for Making Valentine Op-Art:
1. Very lightly trace your hand with a pencil, then draw a heart in the open space between your thumb and first finger.
2. Now, put your pencil away! You’ll be using Sharpie only for the rest of your drawing.
3. First, cover your wrist and hand with curved lines. Start about an inch from the bottom, and draw curved lines from one side of your wrist to the other. Keep them as close together as you can. The wrist is a great section to practice on, to get the feel for drawing the curved lines. You can go back and finish the wrist after you get the hang of it.
4. Next, work your way up the hand and out each individual finger, covering the whole hand with curved lines packed closely together. The more curved you make your lines, and the closer together they are, the better 3D Op-Art effect you’ll get!
5. Then, cover the heart with curved lines, just like you did for the hand.
6. Next, fill in all the open spaces with lines that are parallel to the top and bottom edges of your paper. Wherever possible, try to make these straight lines connect with the curved lines you drew. Turn your paper any way you need to as you draw so that your drawing feels comfortable and natural.
7. Finally, erase your original pencil lines, which should be no problem because you drew them so lightly, right??!
8. Add some color, if you want. Voila! A valentine even a 5th-grade boy can be proud of!