Op Art Teachniques

Here are 4 mess-free techniques using only markers and colored pencils that will turn your Op Art coloring pages into works of art!  I'll show you in these step-by-step tutorials, how easy it is to mix up your media a little and achieve beautiful results on your next art project!

Here are 4 mess-free techniques using only markers and colored pencils that will turn your Op Art coloring pages into works of art!  I'll show you in these step-by-step tutorials, how easy it is to mix up your media a little and achieve beautiful results on your next art project!



Pick 2 colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, 2 primary colors, or 2 shades of the same color.  This will ensure that they stay bright.  Do a double outline in the white areas of an op-art coloring page.  Gently go over the marker lines and white area with plain water.  Allow the color to flow into the center on its own.  
Color Wheel


The works best using heavy paper.  My favorite is 90# drawing paper cut down to printer paper size.  It works much better than 70# drawing paper or card stock.  It allows the colors to flow. (Regular copy paper is actually my 2nd favorite. But it's always good to test things first.)

Below is the set of coloring pages where you will find the design I used.  In addition to the 4 "OP ART" designs, there are samples from 8 other op art sets.  You can see the Op Art Coloring Pages here.





For the next example, I'm using the same washable marker and water techniques as above, but also adding a texture rubbing over areas colored with the marker first.
For this page, found in Op Art Using Line and Value, the goal is to have a range of value that goes progressively from light to dark.  I would suggest having a scrap paper handy for students to just do lots of experimenting on first.  Then pick out 4 techniques that they can put in order from light to dark, on the Value Scale Practice strip.  

The techniques I used are:
1) Outlining with marker and then going over with water for a nice light area.
In the 2nd, 3rd and 4th steps, I colored with marker completely, then went over the marker area with a texture rubbing.  I used a color stick which is like a colored pencil without wood.  Students could use regular colored pencils or crayons for this step.


In addition to the step-by-step instructions for drawing your own op art designs, I've created these quick start pages for younger students or to jump right into adding color or trying out some techniques.  

They are great for teachers that need to create some technique samples in a hurry!



In the next technique example, I'm using the marker and water technique again.  This time I'm adding some shading with colored pencil to give the illusion of form.

To make this page pop, I'm using the color complements red and green.  I outlined the white area with washable markers in red and green.  I then went over the marker color and white areas with plain water.  It's important to let the paper dry completely before adding colored pencil. 

I used the same colors of colored pencils (red & green) and did some shading on the outside edge of the heart and in the background near the edge of the heart.  I used a blue colored pencil and darkened the shading a little (shown in the 3rd photo).

(The quick start pages shown in this post are 2018 updates to the op art sets.)





For the last technique example, I'm using the just one color of marker, but 2 techniques.  The water and marker technique used in the previous techniques next to just coloring with marker to make a solid color.



For this technique, I'm coloring inside the heart (or whatever shape you are making) solid with a marker.  In the background, however, I'm just outlining the white areas with the marker.  I then wet the marker color and white areas gently with plain water using a soft brush.  Allowing the color to flow into the center of the shape on its own will give the area a soft fuzzy texture.   

The sharp edges of the solid colored heart contrasting with the soft fuzzy background gives the illusion that the heart is floating in front of the background.  This is in addition to the illusion of the implied outline of the heart created by all the edges of the black and white shapes lining up in the shape of a heart. 




You can see all the Op Art lessons in this post here:

Or in my Teachers Pay Teachers store:

Which technique did you like best?  Have you given any of them a try?  Be sure to tag Expressive Monkey in your social media posts and leave a comment below! 


Before you go ... don't forget to add one of these pins to your Pinterest board for future reference!


4 creative ideas for kids to use markers and colored pencils to make some mixed media Op ART!  See the step-by-step tutorials for art techniques using fun Op Art coloring pages that you can use on your next art lesson!

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