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I recently rediscovered Paint Adventures, an art book I bought my first year as a teacher. It was a lifesaver that year as I planned my art lessons. It's filled with all sorts of fun and inexpensive ideas for projects with paint. At my school, paint was supplied in essentially unlimited quantities, unlike most other supplies which were rationed out. 

I've been wanting to play with Folk Art's new Color Shift paint, so I made one of my favorite projects from the book, Op-Art.



  • heavy paper, cut into a square
  • scissors
  • paint - one color plus white
  • paintbrush
  • fishing line


Fold the square in half diagonally, then again diagonally. 

With the paper still folded, make three parallel cuts from the side with a single thick fold toward the side with the two folds. Do not cut all the way through; stop about an inch from the end. 

Unfold the paper. You should have a set of connected diamond shapes. 

Paint the center diamond with the colored paint. Then add a little bit of white, mix it thoroughly, and paint the next diamond. Continue adding white, mixing, and painting until the four diamonds are all painted. Let the paint dry and repeat the process on the other side of the paper. 

When the paint on both sides is dry, fold half of the center diamond toward you and the other half away from you. Fold the two halves of the next diamond the opposite way of the previous one. Continue folding each ring either toward you or away from you until all the diamonds are folded.

Unfold each piece halfway. All the folded segments should be parallel to each other. 

Poke a hole in one end and thread some fishing line through it. Hang the art and enjoy the optical illusion it creates!

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