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optical design

colored pencils
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by JuliannaKunstler.com

Optical illusion design. Colored pencils shading. Lesson plan.

Learning objectives:

  • Repetition & pattern
  • Use values to create depth
  • Manipulate lines to create an illusion of depth
  • Colored pencils shading technique
  • Color schemes
tangle design

Color is a very expressive Element of art. You are going to use colors of your choice to achieve your goal.

There are 2 steps to create this project:

  • draw the design
  • follow the coloring technique to make the design colorful, unique, and three-dimensional
finished design

materials used:

paid links

illustration board, 14 ply

drawing pencil B

Sharpie ultra fine point

Prismacolor premier 24

Prismacolor scholar 48

pencil blender 12

gum erasers



optical illusion colored design
optical illusion colored design



optical design drawing step

1. Use #2 pencil.

Draw 9+ vertical waves. Alter space and curves.

Waves should not cross.

optical design step

2. Draw a simple wave across.

optical design drawing step

3. Use thin Sharpie.

Draw upward curves above the middle wave.

Draw downward curves below the middle wave.


Every next curve starts at a previous line.

Alter the distance between the curves.

drawing details

4. Complete the entire section.

optical design drawing

5. Complete the entire design.


Erase the "across" wave.


optical design coloring step

6. Color each section gradating color from dark to light to dark.

optical design coloring step

7. Use an analogous color and apply same gradation pattern.

color scheme

8. Add another analogous color or repeat the first one.


Keep coloring!

optical design coloring step

9. Use different colors for the next section.

This is how you color:

shade lightly the entire shape with a color of your choice

optical design coloring step

shade full strength - leaving a small area in the middle

add highlights

use white pencil to blend the middle part

optical design coloring step

use black or a darker color to blend the sides of the shape.

You can also get creative and use complimentary colors to emphasize an area or keep it all analogous colors, or just color it the way you feel like.


optical design finished drawing

helpful links

creative patterns
shading patterns 3S
coloring patterns
optical design