Visual Deception Project

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Objective: Create an artwork based on the illusion of three dimensions.

Create an artwork that uses one of these:

  • A vanishing point with multiple uses
  • An impossible figure
  • An ambiguous image
  • Conflict between two and three dimensions
  • An effective optical illusion

or any related idea that highlights the conflict between a two dimensional image and the three dimensional scene it represents.

Generally, if the mathematical basis for your artwork is simple (a Penrose triangle, for example), you should involve it in a more complete scene. On the other hand, if the mathematical basis is complicated, then there is less need for artistic embellishment.

Finished Work

After making practice sketches, create a finished artwork.

Use a ruler, compass, T-square, or other tools to be precise in the layout of the image.

The finished project must be a high quality piece of work:

  • Accurate: The underlying geometry should be precise. Use a ruler, compass, T-square, or other tools to be precise in the layout of the image.
  • Good materials: Pencils and ball-point pens are not acceptable. Use ink, paint, pastels, markers, colored pencil, or any other bona fide art supply. Printer and binder paper are not acceptable. Graph paper is only acceptable if you check with your instructor first. Use a heavy artists paper, or posterboard, or better.
  • Polished: The finished work should not be your first attepmt. Refine sketches until you're satisfied with the design. Erase any light pencil marks you needed to lay out the pattern. Add color or a border if appropriate. Make your artwork large if details are hard to see.

Above all, make something you are proud of. You should want to hang your project on your wall.


Provide, on a separate piece of paper, some basic documentation about your project. You must include:

  • Your name
  • The title of your artwork
  • The materials you used to make the artwork (media, type of paper, ...)
  • What is impossible, ambiguous, or illusory about the artwork.
  • Anything else that needs explaining, such as a theme, meaning, or source of inspiration.

More Information


The finished work and the documentation.