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How To Make Your Own Optical Illusion

Oct 20, 2023 1 MINUTE

Trick your friends with this optical illusion! Create an entire rainbow using only the primary colors — red, yellow, and blue dots.

Using everyday ingredients and tools from your kitchen cabinet, embark on a hands-on process that prompts you to ask questions, mix compounds, and analyze materials like a scientist at the Museum.

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- Notebook or piece of paper 
- Pencil
- Watercolors
- Cup of water
- 3 q-tips

- With a pencil, draw an outline of a rainbow with 7 arched lines.
- First, color in the purple arch of your rainbow using red and blue dots. Wet a cotton swab and dip it into your red paint.
- Use your red cotton swab to stamp dots on the bottom arch. Make sure to fill in the arch evenly and leave some space in between your dots.
- Wet another cotton swab – this time with blue paint. Go back into the bottom arch of your rainbow and fill in the leftover white spaces with blue dots. When you look from a distance, the arch should begin to look purple!
- Repeat these steps to color in the five other arches of the rainbow (blue, green, yellow, orange, and red). Remember, you can only use the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) to color in the rest of the rainbow! To make the green arch, use both yellow and blue dots. To make your orange arch, use both yellow and red dots.

- How does the artwork look when viewed up close? What about from far away? You can use this concept to invent another colorful work of art!


Chief Digital Officer: Douglas Hegley
Executive Producer: Sarah Wambold
Director/Writer/Producer: Emma Vecchione
Producer: Rachel Smith
Project Manager: Maria Kozanecka
Animation Direction: Lisa LaBracio
Stop Motion Animation: Lisa LaBracio
2D Animation: Luca Mancuso
Prop Fabrication: Lisa V. Bergmann, Anna Samo
Narrator: Roselin Lopez
Episode Consultants: Dita Amory, Charlotte Hale
Education Consultants: Darcy-Tell Morales
Original Music: Austin Fisher
Production Design: Aurola Wedman Alfaro
Sound Mix: Dave Raymond
Rights and Permissions: Julie Zeftel

Circus Sideshow (Parade de cirque), ca. 1887-88.
George Seurat (French, Paris 1859–1891 Paris).
Oil on canvas, 39 1/4 x 59 in. (99.7 x 149.9 cm).
Bequest of Stephen C. Clark, 1960 (61.101.17)

All Images © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

MetKids is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies

© 2023 The Metropolitan Museum of Art


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