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Tessellating shapes

May 4, 2015

I’m so proud of my art students. They have created some great tessellations and challenged their sense of shape and repeating patterns. We’ve talked a lot about patterns this year and variations of this term. I’m so delighted with their pictures and can’t wait to see their final papers and trading cards at the end-of-the-year showcase May 14th.

For those who missed the class and would like to stay caught up on their portfolio, you can find an excellent tutorial HERE. We used our 8 1/2 x 11″ white cardstock for the rotation tessellation and our trading card paper (uncut) for the translation tessellation. The rotation used a 2 1/2″ square and the translation used a 1 1/2″ square. It is an easier design to piece together, but the smaller size created a challenge of a different kind.

After taping your pieces together according to the tutorial, you’ll want to write “TOP” on your pattern piece so you don’t inadvertently mix up your pattern. Trace your first shape (I recommend using a black thin marker) in the center of your paper and then start rotating it around the original until you have filled your paper in its entirety. Some of the shapes will reach off the page. Don’t worry!

After tracing your translation tessellation, color it and cut out your individual trading cards.

Now is the fun part. Determine what you have created. Add simple details to each shape to convey your image’s theme. Color the entire shape one color. Use no more than 3 or 4 colors on the entire paper. The shapes of the same orientation should be the same color throughout your picture to create a sense of continuity and repeating tessellating patterns.

You can download the trading card template HERE.

Happy creating and as always let me know if you have any questions. I’ll see you on May 14th. Be sure to register HERE for the showcase.

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