Symmetric Art Project

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Objective: Create an artwork which displays symmetry.

Use techniques from this course, or some other method, to create an artwork with symmetry. You may use any symmetry group you choose, but simpler symmetry groups such as C2, D1, D2, D4 will require greater artistic effort to make a satisfying piece.

Preliminary Work

The preliminary sketchwork you do in and outside of class is an important component of this art project.

You may have already done relevant work in homework problems, or in class during:

Try replicating a motif with tracing paper or carbon transfer paper. Folding and cutting is another way to produce symmetry.

You might try software such as iOrnament or Kali to explore different designs.

From your preliminary designs, choose one to develop into a finished artwork.

You must hand in all preliminary work with your final product.

Finished Work

The finished piece must be a high quality piece of work:

  • Accurate: You may break symmetry for artistic reasons, but angles and distances in the underlying symmetries should always be precise. Use ruler, compass, and other drafting tools to be precise.
  • Good materials: Pencils and ball-point pens are not acceptable. Use ink, paint, pastels, markers, colored pencil, or any other bona fide art supply. Printer paper and binder paper are not acceptable. Use a heavy artists paper, or posterboard, or better. If you use graph paper, attach it to a piece of backing board so it is sturdy.
  • Polished: The finished work should not be the first time you try your chosen picture. Refine sketches until you're satisfied with the pattern. Erase any light pencil marks you needed to lay out the pattern. Add color or a border if appropriate. Make your image large if details are hard to see.

You may use a computer to help design your artwork, but the final piece should not be a computer printout.

Above all, make something you are proud of. You should want to hang your artwork on your own wall.


Provide, on a separate piece of paper, some basic documentation about your project. You must include:

  • Your name
  • The title of your artwork
  • The materials you used to make the artwork (media, type of paper, ...)
  • The symmetry group of your artwork
  • How you laid out the symmetric figures (graph paper, ruler and compass, stencil, freehand, etc...)
  • Anything else that needs explaining, such as a theme, meaning, or source of inspiration.

More Information


The finished work, the documentation, and any preliminary sketches.