Optical Illusion Hand



  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Rulers
  • Black Sharpies
  • Water based markers with a wide tip


  1. Have students trace their hand with outstretched fingers in pencil on their paper. It does not need to be in the middle, but that is easiest.
  2. Use rulers to create 1” stripes horizontally across the paper. Demonstrate how to make these even. Skip over the hand area without drawing in it.
  3. Next, show how to gently curve lines to connect over the hand creating a “bulge.”
  4. Trace all lines in black Sharpie marker. (A water-based black marker will bleed as you use more colors and look smudgy.)
  5. Have students pick two colors that are either both hot (red, orange, yellow, peach, pink) or both cold (blue,
    green, turquoise, purple, violet) and color in the stripes NOT including the hand shape, alternating colors.
    Then be sure to alternate colors opposite on the hand, as pictured in the example. Happy Optics!