Valentines Day Heart Ops

Greta is a working artist and is currently attending school for art education. This is her first semester working with Art Sphere. Her goal is to inspire her students to learn about the world through art, and express themselves freely.

This project teaches kids about different types of line and complementary colors through creating optical illusions.

Grade: kindergarten-5th grade.

Vocabulary: cool colors, warm colors, complementary colors, intersecting line, cross hatching, 3D, optical illusion.

Materials: markers and construction paper.


  • First introduce the lesson, discuss what an optical illusion is and how you can get this effect using line and complementary colors. Show some examples.
  • Second, Pass out materials.
  • Third, tell each child to choose one dark color (black, brown, navy blue) to draw the line work and to choose a warm and cool color marker for the shading.
  • Fourth, start creating! Have the students draw a large heart, taking up most of their paper. Next have them draw intersecting lines from one side of their paper to the other side, making sure the lines pass through the heart. After this they can pick up the cool color marker and start filling in every other shape that their lines have created. Once they are finished, do the same thing with the warm color.

Looking into the further meaning of this project, one could discuss how life can be an optical illusion and things are not always as they appear.

Breaking the students up into tables and then giving them more individual instruction seemed to help the class flow very smoothly. This allowed the students to move at their own pace. Adding in additional cross hatching marks helped even push that 3D look and gave their projects more depth.