Op Art Inspired Line Drawing

I couldn’t resist sharing this amazing line drawing technique demonstrated by Ted Edinger on his website Art With Mr. E. The method is fairly simple for children to do, and the results are very effective at demonstrating the wonders of optical illusions.


  • drawing paper
  • black marker eg. Sharpie
  • pencil crayons or markers


1. To begin, you’ll need some good drawing paper and a fine black marker. Draw a wavy line across the centre area of the paper, like in the image below. Next, add some small, unevenly spaced dots along the line. The number you add really depends on the size of your paper. Mr. E recommends eight dots, on what looks like standard printer paper (8.5″ x 11″).

2. Join the dots above and below the line with a curved shape. The end shapes should go off the page.

3. Continue to add curved layers above and below to create long, worm-like shapes that eventually go from the top of the page to the bottom. The final result will be more interesting if they are not perfectly vertical. Also, make sure to vary the width in different places so that it becomes narrow in some areas, and wide in others. This will make the shape more interesting, and contribute to the illusion that it’s popping out from the page. You can even make some of the shapes disappear, as though they’re being swallowed up by other ones beside them.

3.  Markers or pencil crayons can be used to add colour. This example involved using pencil crayons and a Sharpie.

The image below was made using Crayola markers and a Staedtler for outlining in black.
In the end, the Sharpie showed up much better than the Staedtler.

A big than you to Mr. E for sharing such a cool idea.



Filed under Art Movements, doodling, drawing, Op Art

26 responses to “Op Art Inspired Line Drawing

  1. artistmum

    This is a great idea! I will try it with my students! Thank you 🙂

  2. This is so pretty! I’ll have to do it with my daughter (in like 8 years….) I’d love for you to share this idea on my link party:

    – Sarah @ http://www.naptimedelights.blogspot.com

  3. So cool! I am going to show this to my son, who loves drawing. Thanks for sharing at our Handmade Tuesdays party.

  4. Love this! And you made it look like something I can even do! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Good fun! I used to love making this sort of thing as a kid. Thanks for the reminder. I’m going to get my felt pens out when I get home. 🙂

  6. This looks so cool! I’ve pinned it so my daughter can do it sometime this summer. Thanks for sharing at Terrific Tuesdays.

  7. Wow, I may have to try this

  8. What a great idea – we’ll have to give this a try. Thanks for joining in with the Kids Co-op and for the inspiration.

  9. this is soooo cool! I love it, can’t wait to try it!
    I’ll be featuring you this week @ Inspire Me Fridays, thank you so much for linking up!

  10. Very fun!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!! I hope you are having an amazing week!

  11. so creative
    Cant wait to see what you link up later today on Serenity Saturday

    Natasha xxx

  12. Pingback: 3D Hand Art « ictcommuniqué

  13. 🙂 Thanks for sharin’ my post! This lesson is what has brought most to my blog/pinterest. Nutty. Have a great artsy day!!! -Mr. E

  14. Fiona

    This is fantastic! I modified this for the cover of my Art in ECE Curriculum Resource. I printed my title, name, etc. in calligraphy in the centre of the page, drew a wavy outline around it, and used that as the starting point instead of the wavy line in the middle of the page. I hope that makes sense. I think it turned out great.

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