How Many Shelves Do You See?

shelves eye trick

How many shelves do you see in this eye trick picture? Look to the right and you’ll see three shelves, look to the left and you’ll see four shelves! So where are you going to put your pictures? More importantly, where are you going to put your pictures of this site,, where you’ve taken screenshots of the most important pages, printed them out on your color printer, and then framed them behind nice, beveled glass? Oh, you don’t do that? You just like looking at them on the website? In that case, much better illusions await you than this one, even though this shelves illusion is a classic optical illusion that everyone needs to see at least once.

How to draw this 3 or 4 shelves illusion.
This is a great optical illusion to start off by drawing. You can either reference this screen as you draw it on on your desk, or feel free to print this out as a quick reference guide.

  • First, draw two normal shelves for the top and bottom.
  • Second, Draw the right side of the center shelf. The shelf that appears on the right with the group of three, but don’t finish the left side of it.
  • Third, Draw the two parallelograms (also known as the left sides of the shelves) evenly spaced between the other two left edges.
  • Last, connect all the lines between them.

Four Quick ways to make drawing this illusion it even better:

  1. You could make even more shelves.
  2. You could make something other than shelves. I’ve seen this illusion done with pencils, crayons, columns, anything where there are straight lines.
  3. You could start to shade it in. The way to do this is really to just shade darker near the edges, (as in the example above, you would want to make the left and right sides darker, but then in the middle have it fade to white.)
  4. To make the illusion even stronger and a more powerful eye trick, you could make the picture even wider.