Illusion Drawing

This is a project that will definitely motivate your child to take pen to paper. The result is incredible! With this project, you can teach that shad­ing and care­ful use of line can give a 2D draw­ing the "illu­sion" of being 3D.


  • White paper
  • Black "F" Sharpies
  • Col­ored pen­cils


1. Draw a curvy line across your paper.

2. Make about 8 dots, unevenly spaced, on your line.

3. Next, con­nect the dots with curved lines. (The lines from the dots at each end should go off the paper, rather than curve back down to the line.)

4. Then, from each of these curved lines, build up a "col­umn" of more curved lines (or "rings"), stacked on top of each other. Build one com­plete col­umn at a time across the top half of your paper. If your columns start to slant or get smaller or larger, all the bet­ter! We found it eas­i­est to develop every other one, and then con­nect the spaces in between. (When you fill in these "in-between" columns, make sure that each suc­ces­sive "ring" that you add con­nects at its ends to the ring below it.)

5. When the top half of your paper is fin­ished, spin your paper around and repeat steps 3 and 4 until your entire paper is filled and all your columns are con­nected.

6. Finally, choose a color scheme (I chose "color fam­i­lies", above) and color each of your columns, press­ing harder on each side and lighter in the mid­dle, to give it more of a 3D look!

This is one of those lessons where a pic­ture is worth a thou­sand words, so if these direc­tions seem con­fus­ing, just fol­low the pic­tures below!


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