Symmetry Group Pm – alternating parallel mirrors

This symmetry group is the last one for me to tackle. It has been a year since I started tessellating again, since I found the KaleidoPaint iPad app. About 170 drawings, not all of them successes. The better ones have been posted here. This specific method was not really inspiring, as I am not a big fan of mirrors. The drawings always seem constricted, rigid.

In the drawing below, the thunderbird figure shows that you can indeed stray between the mirrors, but anything you draw will end up looking like two stacks of items. It was not necessary for me to flip the figures upside down, but they seemed to fit better in there. Four on one side –The Hiker/Draft Dodger, the Native Chief, The Spirit Bear, The Thunderbird, and two figures in the other direction – The Logger, The Retiree with her Punter. They’re not stacked in necessarily the correct arrival order.

Symmetry Group Pm-Island-Inhabitants

Symmetry Group Pm-Island-Inhabitants

The Pm group lends itself well to draw totem poles, as shown in the example below. Symmetrical alternating stacks of figures. In this case, Beaver, Raven and Spirit Bear.

Symmetry Group Pm - Spirit-Bear,-Beaver-and-Raven

Symmetry Group Pm – Spirit-Bear,-Beaver-and-Raven

And in this last example, “Mickey and the Reapers, in concert”, the stack of figures is not as apparent (possibly because of the close crop), but notice there is unused “negative space”, dual purpose, the back of the crowd/cape. Not really a true tessellation in my definition. Guess we could dub this symmetry group the crowded totem group.

Symmetry Group Pm - Mickey-and-the-Reapers-in-concert

Symmetry Group Pm – Mickey-and-the-Reapers-in-concert

Enough for now.Get out there and tessellate!

Lots of software out there to help you accomplish this type of design.

An iPad app is available, which is what I have used here to create these images: KaleidoPaint by Jeff Weeks.

There is also a java-based program “Escher Web Sketch”  at the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne. Make sure Java is enabled and not blocked by your security software.

Also, another screen-based software by Anselm Levskaya Escher Sketch v2.

Or a pair of scissors and a piece of cardboard works quite well. That’s how I learned.

Comments are always welcome!


If you’re a “Learn by Seeing” “Learn by Doing” kind of person, I’ve started creating videos on “how-to” create tessellations. I’ll be covering each of the 17 symmetry groups, one class at a time. And like all artists, we need to make a living. So. I’ve uploaded these to the Skillshare platform. I’ll get paid by minutes watched.

You can take the classes for free. Skillshare offers anywhere from 2 weeks to a month for free if you sign up, even temporarily.

You can register for just a month and cancel anytime. It’s less than the cost of a Netflix subscription! And you can still stay put on the couch. There are over 40,000 classes on topics for creative persons just like you. Join my mailing list, either here on my blog (in the sidebar), or a at this link for a specific list I use to announce new classes.

I’d love for you to join me on this wonderful learning adventure.

If you prefer, you can follow my progress on social media, I always announce my new class:
Facebook: Franc Champagne, and Vancouver Island Tessellation Artist
Instagram: champagne.francine
Twitter: FChampagne1
Linkedin: Graphic Design, PowerPoint and tessellations
Youtube: Video animations and class intros

My classes have received an independent rating of 9.7/10, placing these Skillshare classes in the TOP 2% of classes reviewed by CourseMarks!

🙂

Rekindle your Love of M.C. Escher Tessellations, draw your own tessellations using a free iPad App rating

Here is a list of the classes up so far:

  1. Rekindle your Love of M.C. Escher Tessellations, draw your own tessellations using a free iPad App. In this class I introduce the concept of tessellations, show you the work of M.C. Escher as well as other artists. Then we dive into a first symmetry method, P4g, accomplished by drawing only one line to create the perimeter of your tessellation.
  2. Just like M. C. Escher’s Tessellations: Draw Using a New Symmetry Method and Your iPad. We tackle the Mirrored Triplets symmetry group, aka P3m1.
  3. This UP/DOWN, LEFT/RIGHT Tessellation method was M. C. Escher’s favorite. It is also the symmetry method, P1, most taught in schools. Probably the only way most artists have tried to accomplish a nested shape. We will push it a tad farther, but also easier than scissors and cardboard.
  4. M. C. Escher Tessellations: The Three Cozy Buddies Symmetry Group, know as symmetry group P3. Lots of examples, from many different tessellation artists. One of my favorite ways of creating tessellations.
  5. Digital Patterns: Super Simple Quickie Patterns. 20 patterns in 30 minutes! I will show you how to draw and assemble your pattern design elements in four different and unusual ways. Come explore the possibilities, from a different point of view using your iPad and the free KaleidoPaint app. There is more to symmetry than rigid repeats, half-drops and tossed layouts.
  6. My next class with deal with a symmetry group I have named: “This way — that way”, aka crystallographic notation Pg. That Koloman Moser video above, is part of the series.

2 thoughts on “Symmetry Group Pm – alternating parallel mirrors

  1. Pingback: Symmetry Group Pm – alternating parallel mirrors | champagnedesign

  2. Pingback: Fifi at the Salon tessellation | My tessellations, images in regular division of the plane

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