Sunday, January 29, 2012

Op Art Hands That POP!

I found this lesson while doing a Google image search for hands and thought I would try doing it with my current sixth grade art students. I think what attracted me most to the lesson is how simple it is to do. I mean what can be easier than tracing your hand? It also looks really cool when it is finished!

Step 1: Trace your hand lightly using a pencil. Do this step as lightly as possible because your original outline of your hand should not show when finished.

 Step 2: Using a thin black Sharpie marker, start adding your lines. Start at the bottom of the page where your arm is and draw a curved line on the arm and then straight lines for the background. I had my students start by using a pencil for the first four or five lines until they got the hang of it, then using the marker to add the rest.


  • Make sure your curved lines line up with the straight line in the background.
  • Do not trace your outline with the black marker.
  • Place your lines close together. If there is too much space between your lines it will not look like the hand is popping off the page.

 Step 3: Continue adding lines and moving up the paper towards the top of the page. When doing the fingers I found it was easier to curve your lines in the opposite direction instead of trying to add straight lines there.

 Step 4: The most difficult part of this project is ending the fingers. I found it somewhat difficult to find a way to get back to straight lines at the top once you get past the finger tips. Try to flatten out your line as much as possible so it no longer matches the curve of the fingers.

Step 5: Choose three colors, using a color scheme, and color between your black lines using colored pencils. I used a monochromatic color scheme for my example. I also gradated my colors to help the hand pop off the page. I finished by using a kneaded eraser to lift some of the color off the ridges of the fingers, hand, and arm.

I did this lesson with my sixth grade students but I think it could be done with younger students as well. Once I knew what mistakes were common, I could explain the lesson to them a little bit better and avoid those mistakes.


rachelle said...

Thanks! Great explanation. I am going to try this with my class.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this project. I have my students make one while they are in their printmaking unit. It is a great activity that holds focus and engagement! Thanks for the step-by step!

Ayesha Bhatti said...

you can not even see mine

hiiiiiih matias said...

its awsome #magic

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chadtheartist said...

I have seen this project around the internet a lot. Every one is doing it and it is no wonder why. It teaches an important lesson and it is easy to do. so I made a video for my class if anyone is interested in watching it. share it and pin and whatever you want to with it.

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