For this project I got my idea from when I was in middle school. Also I saw on Mr. E's art lesson blog how to break down this project into easy steps. My middle school teacher had us make "tunnel" designs to show that we could make lines look 3-D, in a simple and easy way.
We learned about how repeating lines, especially curvy lines, can make a good skeleton to add value or shading to create 3-Dimensional optical illusion compositions.
On a 9" x 9" white construction paper we drew, with pencil, a "hilly" line in the middle of the page. We added 7-9 dots to show where our little hills will begin and end. They did one side of the hilly line until it was completed by being at the top of the page. I suggested working in one direction and continue making row of hills (making sure to spread evenly, so it will be easy to fill with shaded color.) Then they repeated the same steps the opposite side of the page until completely filled. After all pencil lines are completed, students outlined the pencil lines with a standard size Sharpie marker to make lines POP!
To add shading, we watched a brief slideshow of how to apply shading, examples of optical illusions, and how what colors would look "nice" together or compliment each other.
They chose where to add color. They were aloud to choose up to 5 colors. and they could have left some white and black if they wanted. I wanted them to be able to choose where colors would go and maybe not go to have them really LOOK at the piece and what would be best for each composition.
They really enjoyed this project and felt so proud of themselves when they completed. This project took 3 solid 45 minute class periods for the majority of the class to complete. (4 solid classes would work better if the project was larger)
Here are some examples of the 4th graders work. (finished and unfinished)