Symmetry art: Spring is in the air and butterflies are everywhere

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butterfly symmetry

pictures of butterflies

What better way to get in a little symmetry art than using the natural world. It is truly amazing how symmetrical butterflies are and for this activity I did my usual copy and paste pictures from Pinterest. I happen to be lucky that the school I work for is so accommodating about printing out the color images I like to use for my classes.

I chose a few different butterflies with various colors and hung them up.

I prepared egg cartons with lots of different colors. I could have had them mix their own colors the way I teach in painting with children but, I wanted the colors to be rich and not muddy.

paints for painting

It’s true that they could get  more colors by mixing but, for this I also wanted the children to concentrate on the symmetry not the mixing as the color mixing becomes the whole activity when I give it to them. (I also loooove using egg cartons for painting. I don’t why I ever used plastic palettes. For crying out loud you have to WASH those out. These just get thrown in the garbage and they are so easy to collect)

I basically went over with the kids the basic structure of a butterfly, told them to use the butterflies hung up for reference and to make sure that whatever pattern they decided to do on one side they needed to do the exact same on the other side.

painting butterflies 2

They drew their butterflies with pencil and I made sure to give them smaller paintbrushes to paint in their butterflies.

painting butterflies 1

I find that I have loads of thin brushes from the watercolor pans that don’t work so well with the watercolors. but are fine for small tempera work.

butterfly 1

butterfly 2

For larger areas they were able to use larger brushes as well.

butterfly 3

butterfly 4

After they were finished with their butterflies I noticed one of the children fooling around with paint and paper. I used this as an importunity to show some of them how to get truly symmetrical pictures by painting one side and then folding the other side  over it.

folded 2

folded 3

After a few tries they also started getting the picture that if you paint close to the spot where you will fold it over then the paint images are right next to each other.

folded 1

folded 4

It’s really another way to make a butterfly but, even if not butterflies than they are still beautiful examples of symmetry art.

There is another post I did a while back on symmetry by creating vases in our art class that you might want to take a look at for more symmetry art activities.

butterfly symmetry

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