Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wavy Lines and Op Art

This is an exercise I found useful with first year (secondary school) pupils, both to hammer home lessons about colour mixing and to link it up with a little art history. The exercise starts by drawing a very wavy line down the middle of an A4 sheet of paper.

Further lines are added, trying to keep them evenly spaced from the first one. If a loop is particularly big, a section of the new line will have to be "broken off" and left inside the loop.
This process was continued until this side of the page was completely filled with lines, as evenly spaced as possible. The process was then repeated for the other side!

The next stage was to fill in one of the spaces between the lines down the middle with either a primary or secondary colour. The next space was left blank and the one after that filled in with the next secondary or primary colour in sequence, ie., red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple (and back to red and through the sequence again if necessary). It doesn't matter where the sequence is started or in which direction they are gone through, as long as the colours are kept in sequence.

The process is then repeated to the other side. (Note that, although I have completed the sequence on the left side, it could just have easily have been completed by going through the same colours again in the same order - so instead of purple, I would have filled in orange again, etc.)

The final stage is to fill in the remaining spaces by mixing the two colours on either side of each space.

Some pupils would put in the colours a little differently than others and sometimes interesting results were created when pupils misunderstood the instructions somewhat. If the results were visually interesting, I never told pupils off just because they did not follow my instructions exactly.
The exercise could be done with paints or colouring pencils and I would set a version of this for homework, which could be completed using different shades of lead pencils and no colours at all!
It should be obvious that there are strong connections to Op Art and the work of artists like Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely. I encouraged my pupils to investigate this for themselves and to experiment along similar lines. I gave all pupils a small handout on Op Art and encouraged those who could do so to search the Web for more material.
These are some useful links that I have found.
Op Art:
Bridget Riley:
Queensland Art Gallery
Victor Vasarely:
Fondation Vasarely (in French, but excellent pictures)


Lena said...

Very beautiful colorgamma.

Lena said...

Greetings Thomas! At me it is drawn storiboard. It is imagination.Good bye!! Elena.