M.C.Escher, Tessellation, Tudor Rose-Yr 5/6 Art


I used this as a short filler project that took a couple of sessions. The children were shown the work of Escher and I explained what tessellation was. They found certain works of Escher absolutely fascinating and were blown away by his ability to make one shape fit into another and produce another image. Here are some of the examples they liked the most.

14 Horseman by M.C.Escher

By M.C.Escher

The children were then asked to use the pentagonal Tudor rose to create a tessellated piece of art work. I explained that it would be quite effective if they used complimentary or even kinetic colour combinations such as orange and blue, red and green/pink, yellow and purple, black and white for their art work.

Because we were short for time I made a very simple pentagonal rose template which each pair had to use. They drew around this template so that each rose was the same. The children cut out several roses out of different colour card and began placing them in different positions to create another shape in between the roses. I then asked them to look at that negative space and see if they could create another image in that shape and draw it in.

(The negative space is the shape/space created around and in between the subject of an image. eg. a tea pot will have the negative space around the tea pot and inside the handle. In other words, anything that isn’t the tea pot.)

Some children kept it very simple and just manipulated the roses to create simple triangles, flower shapes and so forth. The more adventurous began to draw portrates of tudor queens and kings in the negative spaces between the roses. Some other children even cut the roses down the middle and placed them at different angles to each other. Here are just a couple of photos of their work.

IMG_0796 IMG_0795 IMG_0794

IMG_1267I will try and take some more photographs if I can, to add to these.


This project could have been extended further had we had more time. Here are some ideas.

  • The children could have been given the challenge of creating the pentagonal rose template themselves, maybe they could even be introduced to a compass.
  • They could develop an initial tessellated pattern and then draw details in pen onto the rose or the negative spaces. This could be turned into a paper mosaic piece of art work where the roses or the background could be created by cutting out tiny squares and sticking them onto the roses/background or both.
  • Each pair could create part of a whole that forms a larger tessellated pattern when it’s all put together. A little bit like this-but with a Tudor Rose instead.
  • Or it could become a 3 dimensional project where the tessellated rose actually sticks out from the background in layers, or its petals lift off the background.
  • You could cut the rose shapes out (Do this with dark/black paper) and fill that space with coloured tissue paper. Something like these.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s