Globes within Spirals? (Optical Art Tutorial)

© Gianni A. Sarcone –

Are you seeing spirals? Look again, they’re actually concentric circles! This unique variation of the “Fraser spiral” plays tricks on your eyes by blending a regular line pattern (representing the circle’s circumference) with misaligned elements (the spheres with varying brightness).

Would you like to learn how to create this mesmerizing illusion? Follow my simple visual tutorial. If you have any ideas to further enhance this project, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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“Infinity”, A Kaleidoscope of Squares

With this work, I aim to push geometry to its limits, transcending the confines of color. My goal is to showcase the creative potential of simple concentric squares as a medium for experimentation and the discovery of new op art patterns. By delving into this exploration, I strive to unveil captivating illusions of color and mesmerizing motion.

Draw a large and a small square with thick lines and center them (Fig. A). Next, blend the inner and outer squares in six steps to create a set of concentric squares. Reproduce the set to form a larger square pattern, as shown in Fig. B.

“Enigma”, Paradoxical Volumes

In these minimalist op art pieces, I delve into the metaphoric realm of geometric shapes, with a particular focus on the hexagon as the foundational element for creating cubes and other simple three-dimensional regular shapes.
The artworks I present depict solid or three-dimensional structures that appear plausible and real, yet are in fact illusions known as ‘impossible figures.’ However, discerning these impossible figures isn’t immediately evident; one must concentrate on specific areas of the representation to grasp that they could never exist in reality! Drawing an impossible stereographic structure becomes achievable by merging two or more contrasting viewpoints or perspectives of the same object, or even by blurring the boundaries between the exterior and interior of an object…
The more ‘normal’ and ‘simple’ an impossible figure appears, the more captivating it becomes! Indeed, impossible objects aren’t created solely to bewilder the eyes; their purpose lies in confounding the mind and challenging one’s acquired visuo-spatial skills and stereographic knowledge.

Enigma 1: Available as prints and t-shirts.

The two intricate drawings displayed above and below combine two tribars to form an impossible isometric cube, showcasing a mesmerizing interplay between form and illusion.

Enigma 3: Available as prints and t-shirts.

Illusive Color Mixing

When your brain lies… There is NO yellow, nor red, nor green in the picture below! The only real colors are blue, cyan and magenta. Scientists and artists call these color induction effects “simultaneous color contrast” and “color assimilation”.

Concept taken from my book “Drawing Optical Illusions” (2010).
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Math-Magic Vanishing Space

Qaudrix puzzle 1

Inspired from the astrological tables, here is a new puzzle of my creation designed according to the ‘Golden Number Rules’, which is reflected in the proportion of each single piece of the game. Thanks to the balanced dimensions of its pieces, this puzzle acquires some intriguing magical properties!

This “math-magical” puzzle is composed of a tray in which the pieces are assembled.

Quadrix puzzle 2

Puzzle Quadrix (aka Quirinus), © 1992, G. Sarcone.

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