Art School | Mirror Symmetry
Did you know there are different types of symmetry? Yeah, me neither. Apparently, there are, and today we are going to delve into mirror symmetry. The name gives it away pretty much, if you take an image or shape and fold it in half, you would have the image mirrored from one side onto the other side.
There are examples of mirror symmetry in nature all around. One example is in the monarch butterfly. I looked at the above picture for several minutes, even counting spots on one wing and then switched to the other wing, and sure enough, the spots were mirrored.
This is a great place to start some dialog with your child about symmetry they may see in their everyday lives. Even a simple patterned dinner plate may often be an example of mirror symmetry. There are examples of this all around us, even some leaves have mirror symmetry.
Supplies: thick cardstock or watercolor paper, variety of paints, brushes
You will want to start with folding the paper in half , either vertical or horizontal is fine. This part may be hard for younger ones, so maybe fold it in half for them to start.
Next, let them choose which half of the paper they will be painting on, they will stick to just that side. Once they paint a few strokes or an image, tell them to press the other half down to transfer the paint and create the mirror image. Be sure they press it down nice and hard, smoothing the paper out.
As they continue to paint, keep pressing the paper every so often to transfer, a good reminder is to make sure the paint is nice and thick so the mirror comes out nicely. Each time a new item is painted, or a different color is used I would recommend they press the two halves together.
Here’s my first grader’s pineapple and cherry symmetry painting.
But once she got the hang of it, it was kind of hard to stop her. She decided to go from fruits and vegetables to abstract paintings. So I suggest you have lots of extra paper handy in case they create several masterpieces.