Coloring books are enjoying a big resurgence, especially among adults. Here’s a fun twist on coloring that uses anamorphic art. (Anamorphic means “without shape.”) Color in the unrecognizable mystery shape, then view it as a reflection in a curved mirror: You’ll see the image magically restored!
Making anamorphic drawings the traditional way involves mechanically distorting an image by transferring grid points from the original image onto a second, distorted grid, then drawing the lines to connect the points. Difficult and tedious! But the power of image editing software makes it a breeze. Draw or scan your image in Photoshop or GIMP, and place it on the bottom half of the canvas. Use Transform→Flip Vertical to make the image upside down and backward. Then use Filter→Distort→Polar Coordinates to instantly create the distortion.
Now roll a piece of mirrored mylar into a tube and place it beside your distorted image. Presto-change-o: Your original undistorted drawing appears like magic in the reflection! Color in your anamorphic art with crayons or markers.
Here’s a sample image already distorted for you to color and view. Just place your mylar tube on the circle as shown.