3D Illusions with Easy Grids

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opticalgrid-1From Escher and the Droste Effect

In many ways, graphic art is the visual interpretation of math. Grids are a great example of this.

opticalgrid-2From the Math in Your Feet blog

Grids are found everywhere in art. In fact, your kid or student may be drawing grids already, like the ones we described in “Do your kids draw grids?” post. If you want to contribute pictures of your kid’s grids, email us at moby@moebiusnoodles.com

opticalgrid-3From the Room 101 Art blog

Drawing grids involves building two-dimensional shapes using a row and column structure. Visually exploring these two dimensions helps develop spatial and algebraic reasoning.

Grids are a good starting point for understanding two-dimensional shapes, and the same spacial reasoning can be used to give the illusion of three dimensions. By warping grids in parallel with a figure, a person can create the optical illusion of volume where there is none.

opticalgrid-4From Color, Craft, Create blog

Using nothing but paper, a circular object such as a cup, and a pencil or two, you can introduce your kid to the wild, wild world of three-dimensional volume. The project instructions found here show how you can create the illusion of a sphere by adding parallel lines to the two-dimensional shape.

opticalgrid-5From 5th Grade Rocks blog

Using a ruler, a pencil, coloring supplies, and these simple instructions, your kid can easily create an impressive work of art using parallel lines and complementary colors that accentuate the 3D illusion.

opticalgrid-6From Made with Love blog

A common tradition in kid’s art is drawing hands, so kids will be comfortable tracing their hands in order to do this colorful 3D project.

opticalgrid-7From We Heart Art blog

Because of the use of grids, even kids who can’t draw well will be able to create these vibrant, engaging pictures.

opticalgrid-8From Speed Skating Mom blog

Drawing colorful pictures is a great project that will get your kid excited about even more adventures with math art.


Have fun!

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Marina Mersenne is a student, writer, and autodidact. As a lifetime unschooler, Marina takes part in discussions concerning learning and educational systems. With Moebius Noodles, she hopes to expand on alternative ways of learning and teaching mathematics.

Posted in Make
One comment on “3D Illusions with Easy Grids
  1. Linda Fahlberg-Stojanovska says:

    This is a great post. Thank-you!

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