How to Draw a Tessellation

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Tessellation
Tessellation (Image: Kathy Hatter)

A tessellation is a mathematical design based on a geometric shape that is repeated over and over to make a pattern. A tessellation can be created with an equilateral triangle, a square, or a regular hexagon. The pattern is created by simply adding an additional shape to one side of the original shape and then adding this same shape to the inside of the original shape.

Things You'll Need

  • Grid paper
  • Pencil (with eraser)
  • Ruler
  • Tracing paper
  • Markers or colored pencils

Draw a perfect square on the grid paper with your pencil. The size of the square is your choice.

Draw an additional shape on one side of the square.

Trace the shape you drew in step 2, and copy it on the opposite side, inside the square.

Draw another simple shape on the top of the square.

Trace the shape you drew in step 4, and copy it on the bottom, inside the square.

Trace the entire new shape, and move it over horizontally. If done correctly, the shapes will interlock perfectly. Create the tessellation pattern by repeating the shape as many times as you desire.

Add color to the pattern, if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • The process is the same to make a tessellation with a hexagon. Whatever shape is added to one side is copied and added to the inside of the opposite side of the shape. Create the pattern by repeating the shape over and over and adding color.
  • If you are making a tessellation with a triangle, make a shape on one side of the triangle, rotate it 120 degrees, and copy it on the next side, moving clockwise around the triangle. Repeat with the third side in the same fashion. Create the pattern by repeating the shape over and over and adding color.

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