This exercise creates an artwork exploring pattern and repetition through the use of geometric shapes. It is broken down into methodical steps for easy dissemination in the classroom and is designed to allow for different levels of paint handling ability and complexity of design. This provides different results with accompanying learning outcomes for different levels, and is suitable for grades five to eight, or even early year nine. Tips: Decide on and prepare a colour scheme before you begin. Choose three or four colours that work well together and put a dab about the size of a five cent coin at the bottom of each well in the palette. Mix this with white paint until your reach the desired shade, then thin with water until it reaches the consistency of light cream. Paint should flow lightly off the brush with ease and will lay down better the more opaque it is. Thin and streaky paint requires more white and better mixing. If strokes are thick with ridges, you may may need more water. Use water sparingly until you are sure you have the desiredconsistency. This is an economical activity for the classroom, as the paint can be used again and again. When finished, do not throw the paint away. Reserve the pallet and simply add water to revive the paint, which will not age or tarnish.


Step 1:

Using a graphite pencil on watercolor paper, draw a square measuring 22cm by 22cm. Divide the square into quarters with two bisecting lines, then divide diagonally so you have eight triangles.

Step 2:

Using a sheet of tracing paper, trace the outline of one of the triangles and cut it out to make a stencil. Draw a simple design onto the stencil, then turn over and repeat so there are graphite markings on both sides of the design

Step 3:

Lay the stencil flush onto one of the triangles on the piece of paper and trace the design. Flip the paper over repeat for the neighboring triangle. Repeat until all the triangles are full. Make sure the design is the right way around each time so the design meets up and makes the same pattern.

Step 4:

Evaluate your design and make a decision about which colours will go where. Consider harmony, balance and complementary colours. Assign a specific colour to a particular shape and start painting that segment. Repeat, working around the whole design until the shape is painted in each segment.

Step 5:

Choose your next colour and repeat for the next shape until the design is complete. Take a step back and evaluate it to determine what else it needs in terms of added colour, dots and lines. Use a fine paintbrush or Micador Stay Anywhere pen to decorate at will, keeping in mind symmetry, repetition and patterns.

Step 6:

The piece is complete when you say so! Keep adding to it as you see fit, and stop when you are happy with the artwork. Just be careful not to overcrowd the design.
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