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Styles & Periods
Optical Art

In the mid-1950s, a type of abstract art called Op, or Optical Art, was born. This style was concerned with the physical and physiological process of seeing. While all visual art is precisely that – visual, Op Art created a new sensation in its viewing in that it was rigidly not figurative, and almost machine-like in its making. It is characterized by its vibrating rhythms and after-images. Op artists utilized the innovations of science and used all new materials and techniques available, including lasers. Patterns are often repeated in the canvases of Op art, setting up secondary optical illusions or surfaces. These pulsing effects were quite popular among the public, but met with harsh words from critics. Fashion designers adopted the schemes of paintings by Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely in an unprecedented overlapping of commercialism and art. Despite this popularity, Op art has been considered a short-lived and under-resonant tradition within the range of modern art.


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I used Porcelaine 150 about 14 years ago on some glasses; they have been washed over and over in the dishwasher, and the color is still bright and beautiful. I did bake them in the oven as the directions specified. This is a great product!
- Linda in Dripping Springs, Tx
I really like these pencils. I accidentally found a technique that really exemplified the "magic" in them. Rolling the pencil to preserve the point and coloring in a circular motion really brings out the random beauty of the colors in coloring a small petaled flower like a zinnia. I have colored an entire picture with one pencil and gotten raves about it. The biggest drawback I am experiencing is the lack of tutorials to help people understand how to use them. I have seen critiques where the artist did not have a clue how to use them. I have also seen a Russian tutorial that shows a lot of blending techniques that really show some extraordinary effects. I am currently exploring their use for backgrounds. I like the pencils and find them a challenge to explore the "magic."
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