Creating Tessellations Using Microsoft Paint

Microsoft Paint is an application that is always available in almost all Microsoft Windows operating systems. This application is available for free and can be used immediately to edit raster images. This software itself can save several files, namely JPEG, GIF, PNG, and TIFF. Microsoft Paint is a built-in Microsoft application that is very useful for very basic image editing.

In this article, we will explain how to make a tesselation using Microsoft Paint. Well, even though this application itself cannot replace other software that is quite popular like Adobe Photoshop. Apart from Microsoft paint, there is other free software that you can try, such as Inkscape or GIMP. For now, we first learn about using Microsoft Paint.

Microsoft Paint

For those who are curious, how great is Microsoft Paint is? Please see the speed painting video below.

Where can I find Microsoft Paint?

Microsoft paint is standard as part of any current version of windows. To access it follow the procedure below.

  • Left click on the START icon in the bottom left hand corner.
  • Left click on Programs.
  • Left Click on Accessories.
  • Left click on Paint. Look for the icon of a bucket as shown below.

where is ms paint

 

How to use Microsoft Paint

Below you will find a list and description of all the buttons and other main features of Microsoft Paint.

Free-form select tool

This tool allows you to select odd shaped figures. Simply left click your way around the shape to select it.

Select Tool

This tool selects a rectangular area. Hold down the left button on your mouse and drag open a box around the shape.

Note: Once you have selected the shape you can then move it around the page by using your mouse. You can also make a copy using the edit drop down menu. Select copy, then select paste.

Eraser Tool

This tool allows you to rub out any errors or work lines. When it is selected it will give you a choice of eraser sizes as shown below. Simply click to highlight the desired size.

Eraser thickness choice toolbar

Fill With A Colour Tool

The fill with a colour tool lets the user fill the inside of a shape with a solid colour. Select the fill icon from the toolbar, choose a colour from the colour toolbar (see colour toolbar later) then click inside the shape to fill it with the chosen colour.

Colour Picker Tool

The colour picker tool allows the user to choose a colour from your workpage. You would do this when you needed to match a colour from the page, rather than try and guess it's on the colour toolbar.

Magnify Tool

The magnify tool lets you zoom in to get a more detailed view of your work. Select it on the toolbar and then choose the magnification factor from the toolbar which appears (see below).

Magnifier factor choice toolbar

Pencil Tool

This tool lets you draw using the mouse. Start by selecting it from the toolbar. To draw, hold down the left button whilst you drag the mouse over the page.

Brush Tool

The brush tool is similar to the pencil tool. It lets you draw on the page by holding down the left button as you drag the mouse. The only difference is that the brush tool gives the user a thicker line pattern. When you select it from the toolbar you can choose the thickness and appearance of the brush from the toolbar which appears (see below).

Brush appearance choice toolbar

Air Brush Tool

The air brush tool works like a spray can. Select it from the toolbar, then choose the spray effect from the toolbar which appears (see below). You can then choose a colour and start spraying using the left mouse button.

Air brush spray effects toolbar

Text Tool

This tool allows text to be added to a page. Select it from the toolbar and use the left mouse button to drag open a box where you intend to add your text. You will then be able to type in your text as well as choosing its size, font type and other features.

Line Tool

The line tool lets the user draw a straight line from one point to another. Select the line tool from the toolbar. Choose the line thickness from the toolbar which appears (see below) and draw the line by left clicking at the starting point and dragging the line to the finishing point.

Line thickness toolbar

Curve Tool

The curve tool allows you to draw smooth curved lines. Start by selecting the curve tool from the toolbar, choose the line thickness and drag a line using the mouse. To make the line curve left click on the workpage near the line. You should see the line curve. Experiment with this process to find the best method.

Rectangle Tool

This tool lets the user draw a box. Choose the rectangle tool from the toolbar. You will see a fill style toolbar appear on the screen (see Fill Style below) which will give you three options. Choose one of the options and draw a rectangle by dragging open a box when pressing the left button on the mouse.

Note: Holding the shift key whilst dragging open a rectangle keeps the horizontal and vertical axes in proportion creating a square.

Polygon Tool

The polygon tool allows you to create two dimensional figures.  Choose the polygon tool from the toolbar and choose then appropriate  fill style (see Fill Style below). Draw a line whilst holding down the left mouse button. Move to the next vertex of your figure and press the left button again. Keep doing this to create the polygon.

Note: Holding down the shift key forces all the angles in the polygon to be either 45º or 90º, thus allowing the user to create more regular figures.

Ellipse Tool

This tool allows the user to draw circles and ellipses. Choose the ellipse tool from the toolbar and then choose the appropriate fill style (see Fill Style below). To draw an ellipse hold down the left mouse button while dragging the mouse across the page.

Note: Holding the shift key whilst dragging open an ellipse keeps the horizontal and vertical axes in proportion creating a circle.

Rounded Rectangle

This tool allows the user to draw rectangles with rounded corners. Choose the rounded rectangle tool from the toolbar and then choose the appropriate fill style (see Fill Style below). To draw a rounded rectangle hold down the left mouse button while dragging the mouse across the page.

Note: Holding the shift key whilst dragging open an ellipse keeps the horizontal and vertical axes in proportion creating a rounded square.

 

Fill Style Selection Box

When you select the any one of the rectangle, polygon, ellipse or rounded rectangle tools you are able to choose the fill style you desire. There are three options which can be chosen by simply left clicking in the toolbar which appears.

Option 1 – A border only, where only the border is coloured.

Option 2 – A bordered Box, where the border and the box itself are both coloured. To achieve this effect you will need to choose both a foreground and background colour (see colour selection box below).

Option 3 – A coloured box, where only the inside of the box is coloured.

 

Colour Selection Box

The colour selection box allows you to choose an appropriate colour. At its most basic level simply left click inside the colour of your choice.

For more more advanced use, clicking with the left mouse button gives the foreground colour, whilst clicking with the right mouse button gives the background colour. This allows the effect seen in option 2 above, where the border has a different colour to the box itself

 

Shape Opaqueness Choice Box

After you have successfully created your shape you will need to consider how much of it will be opaque and how much will be see through. In most cases you want the shape itself to be opaque but the background around it to be see through. For this choose the second option in the toolbar which appears whenever you select an object. This feature can also be obtained through the image menu.

 

Flipping, Rotating, Stretching and Skewing

Once you have selected a shape go to the Image drop down menu. If you click on the headings in this section you can easily achieve any of the named effects.

Types of Tessellations

The three types of tessellations can easily be achieved using Microsoft Paint. Look at the work samples below and follow the links to find out how to create them.

Very Basic

basic tessellations
Tessellate a one of the basic regular shapes using MS-Paint.

Try This Basic Tesselations

More Freeform

free form tesselations

Using a rectangle or square, create a create a more extravagant freeform tessellation.

Try This Free Form Tesselations

Highly Structured

structured tesselation

A more structured tessellation requiring a high degree of accuracy

Try This Highly Structured Tesselations

Try Basic Tesselations

Step 1 Open Microsoft Paint.

Where can I find Microsoft Paint?
 

How to use Microsoft Paint

 

Step 2 Draw a regular shape which tessellates such as a square or rectangle.

How to use the Rectangle Tool.

easytessellation1.gif (10746 bytes)

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

Step 3 Choose and fill your shape with a colour.

How to use the Fill With A Colour Tool

How to use the Colour Selection Box.

Check to make sure that only the rectangle is opaque!

How to use the Opaquness Choice Box.

 

easytessellation2.gif (11368 bytes)

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

Step 4 Select your shape then copy and paste it.

How to use the Select Tool.

easytessellation3.gif (12701 bytes)

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

Step 5 Change your copied shape's colour.

How to use the Fill With A Colour Tool

How to use the Colour Selection Box.

easytessellation4.gif (11602 bytes)

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

Step 6 Move the copied shape so that it lines up with the original shape to form a tessellation.

How to use the Select Tool.

easytessellation5.gif (13255 bytes)

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

Step 6 Repeat this procedure to create your tessellating pattern.

easytessellation6.gif (13629 bytes)

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

View other examples of tessellations

Do you have other ideas for tessellating shapes?

 

Try Free Form Tesselations

Step 1 Open Microsoft Paint.

Where can I find Microsoft Paint?
 

How to use Microsoft Paint.

Step 2 Draw a solid coloured rectangle or square.

How to use the Rectangle Tool.

How to use the Fill Wih A Colour Tool.

How to use the Colour Selection Box.

Check to make sure that only the rectangle is opaque!

How to use the Opaquness Choice Box.

freeformtessellation1.gif (12751 bytes)

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

 

Step 4 Using the free-form select tool, select a section of the bottom of the rectangle. Make sure that you use the entire side.

Use the mouse to move the section away.

How to use the Free-Form Selection Tool.

freeformtessellation2.gif (12637 bytes)

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

 

Step 5 Move the selected region to the top of the rectangle so that it makes a seamless shape.

 

freeformtessellation3.gif (13106 bytes)

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

 

Step 6 This step may be omitted.

Repeat this process, but this time move a piece from the left side to the right side.

freeformtessellation4.gif (12588 bytes)

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

 

freeformtessellation5.gif (12252 bytes)

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

 

Step 7 Select your shape then copy and paste it.

How to use the Selection Tool.

freeformtessellation6.gif (14850 bytes)

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

 

Step 8 Change your copied shape's colour.

How to use the Fill With A Colour Tool.

How to use the Colour Selection Box.

freeformtessellation7.gif (13742 bytes)

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

 

Step 8 Move the copied shape so that it lines up with the original shape to form a tessellation.

How to use the Select Tool.

freeformtessellation8.gif (14372 bytes)

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

 

Step 9 Repeat this procedure to create your tessellating pattern.

(click to on diagram to enlarge)

View other examples of tessellations

Do you have other ideas for tessellating shapes?

Try Highly Structured Tesselations

Step 1 Open Microsoft Paint.

Where can I find Microsoft Paint?

How to use Microsoft Paint.

Step 2 Draw a right angled isosceles triangle using the polygon tool. Remember to hold down the shift key as you drag the shape.

How to use the Polygon Tool.

structuredtessellation1.gif (12637 bytes)

(Click on diagram to enlarge)

 

Step 3 Use the Zoom tool to the Eraser tool to remove any excess.

 

How to use the Magnifier Tool.

How to use the eraser tool.

 

 

structuredtessellation2.gif (11727 bytes)structuredtessellation3.gif (12755 bytes)structuredtessellation4.gif (15133 bytes)

(Click on diagrams to enlarge)

 

Step 4 Select and copy your triangle. Use the paste function to make three copies so that you have four identical triangle on your page.

How to use the Select Tool.

structuredtessellation5.gif (15037 bytes)

(Click on diagram to enlarge)

 

Step 5 Select each shape one at a time and rotate them to face inwards as shown below.

How to use the Select Tool.

How to flip, rotate, stretch or skew a shape.

structuredtessellation6.gif (14902 bytes)

(Click on diagram to enlarge)

 

Step 6 Move the triangles together to make a seamless square design as shown below.

Hint: Use the magnifier tool to get a closer look.

How to use the Select Tool.

How to use the Magnifier Tool.

structuredtessellation7.gif (15301 bytes)

(Click on diagram to enlarge)

 

Step 7 Fill your shape with the colours shown below.

How to fill a shape with a colour in Microsoft Paint.

Check to make sure that only the rectangle is opaque!

How to use the Opaquness Choice Box.

 

structuredtessellation8.gif (12714 bytes)

(Click on diagram to enlarge)

 

Step 8 Select your shape then copy and paste it.

How to use the Select Tool.

structuredtessellation9.gif (13337 bytes)

(Click on diagram to enlarge)

 

Step 9 Move the copied shape so that it lines up with the original shape to form a tessellation.

How to use the Select Tool.

structuredtessellation10.gif (13337 bytes)

(Click on diagram to enlarge)

 

Step 10 Repeat this procedure to create your tessellating pattern.

(Click on diagram to enlarge)

View other examples of tessellations

Do you have other ideas for tessellating shapes?

 

Examples Of Tessellations

Below you will find some examples of tessellations which can be created using Microsoft Paint.

tessellationsample9 tessellationsample1 tessellationsample2 tessellationsample4 tessellationsample3 tessellationsample6 tessellationsample5 tessellationsample7 tessellationsample8

 

Outcomes

The following is a list of outcomes and skills which may be developed in mathematics. This list is by no means exhaustive and teachers should always feel free to exercise their professional judgement to add, delete, modify or ignore any of these outcomes.

These outcomes have been largely borrowed from the Computers and Mathematics curriculum support document provided to all schools by DET.

You will also notice that some of the outcomes have links which will direct you to a specific lesson idea, skill or work sample that has been included on this website.

Stage 4

Stage 5

Stage 6

Create spreadsheets in order to record data. Research global issues using the internet. eg. global warming. Research HSC special interest projects.
Use CD-ROM's and the internet as a source of information. eg. history of numeration. Use drawing software to investigate geometrical properties of a shape. eg. use ms-paint to examine a square. Select and critically examine material on the internet.
Use multimedia software to develop, organize and present mathematical information. Create a photographic and text layout. Investigate the NSW HSC On-Line site.
Prepare a newsletter to inform a target audience. Identify the extent of use of the internet by remote communities. Obtain access to remote library catalogues.
Use e-mail to conduct interviews. Investigate the use of the internet to research topics. Participate in various internet forums.
Design a webpage about a selected topic. Critique the validity of information available on the internet. Produce a multimedia project on a topic and publish it through the school web page.
Select appropriate formats to save and transfer graphics. Analyse the benefits of using the internet rather than paper based resources for research in mathematics. Explore the benefits of using graphing plotter software, dynamic geometry packages and graphic calculators rather than pen and paper.
Analyse the costs and benefits of using a database to catalogue an exhibition. Explore the benefits of using graphing plotter software, dynamic geometry packages and graphic calculators rather than pen and paper. Compare the treatment of a topic of study in paper based form with a web based form.

 

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