Escher style Geometry Art from J. R. Masterman's 9th grade geometry class

abstract geometric alhambra-style first-time tessellation by a child

RAINBOW PINWHEELS by Emmett

Emmett's tessellation is built up from a distortion of equilateral triangles, if you look at it one way, and from larger hexagons if you look at it another way.



Emmett's work is not, strictly speaking, an Escher-style tessellation. That would require that he tweak the outline until the silhouette of each "tile" resembles an animal, a fried egg, a broken computer, Mr. Taranta, or some combination of things like that. If you look closely, you can see that the basic tile silhouette is sooo close to becoming a bird. If Emmett decides to make the tiles look like bird silhouettes, the new art will be an Escher-style tessellation.

escher style tiling

For fun, compare this angular bird-like tessellation to the similarly themed and similarly drawn-- yet fundamentally different geometry of Birds by Simon.

Bird or not, it's beautiful. This type of tessellation is beautiful for its mathematical purity, evident in the straightforward, vivid colors and obvious, satisfying geometrical balance. This kind of abstract geometrical tessellation is its own kind of art. It's best represented in the awe-producing architectural art of the Alhambra in Spain. (Click here to read more about the difference between Escher-style and Alhambra-style tessellation.) By the way, the Alhambra is the first source of M. C. Escher's inspiration to do tessellation art: After seeing its geometric tessellations, he was inspired to do his own, and then he made his own kind of art by making tessellations that are representational art. "Representational" means they look like real-world objects like animals, Mr. Taranta, and fried eggs.

(Are we saying that Mr. Taranta looks like animals and fried eggs? I don't have that much courage.)

Emmett probably read our tutorial, "Line Method 1", for making tessellation art from triangles. He handed in the tutorial below, which is a very nice retelling of that tessellation lesson. In fact, I like it better than the original, and may replace it with Emmett's.

Emmett says that the last step in the tutorial isn't something he wrote. He says it looks suspiciously like Mr. Taranta's handwriting.

tessellation tutorial using equilateral triangles as the starting point