Graphic Patterns

Lesson Plan, Grades 6-12, Art, Math, History, Drawing


Lesson Plan and Artwork by Annette Johnson

Patterns are a fundamental concept in both art and Mathematics. Math plays a key roll in determining proportion, symmetry and shape of the pattern. Students will create graphic patterns using a pencil, ruler and cross - section paper. The final design will be traced on a light box, using a Staedtler Black Pigment Liner. Staedtler Ergo Soft Colored and Watercolor pencils will be used to enhance the final pattern.


  • Study geometric quilt patterns, geometric floor tiles, textiles, Persian rugs, Islamic patterns, Morroccan tiles, Moorish tiles. These will be used to develop an original graphic pattern.
  • Study the tiles of the Alhambra DeGranada at www.AlhambraDegranada.Org
  • Study artists who use pattern in their work: Escher, Mondrian, Klimt, Klee, and Calder. Use these artist as inspiration to create your own pattern.

Supplies Needed

Staedtler® ErgoSoft Colored Pencils, Set of 24
Staedtler® ErgoSoft Watercolor Colored Pencils, Set of 24
Strathmore® Mixed Media Pad 184 lb, 9 x 12 in, 15 Sheets
School Smart® 1/4 in Grid White Drawing Paper, 9 x 12 in, Ream


Standard #1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Standard #5: Develop and refine artistic work for presentation.
Standard #8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
Standard #11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.



Draw squares measuring: 1”, 1-1/2”, 2”, 3” and 4” on several pieces of the cross-section paper.


Draw inside the outlined squares, connecting the grids within the squares to create new patterns.


Connect the 1/4” squares horizontally, vertically, diagonally and in combination to create a variety of patterns.


Use the larger size squares to create more patterning within the squares. Draw squares, triangles, horizontal and vertical lines to interconnect these shapes inside to form new patterns.


Continue subdividing squares until enough has been created to choose your favorite block.


Draw 3 additional images of the pattern chosen. Cut these squares out and place them in a new shape. Change the direction of the squares until you have the pattern you like the best. Tape together.


After connecting the final image with the 4 identical squares, adjust how the four squares intersect by adding another shape.


Use a light box or a bright window to tape the final pattern down, place the Multi-Media paper on top. Trace the pattern using a ruler and the Staedtler Permanent Pigment Marker.


Use Staedtler Ergo Soft Colored Pencils and Staedtler Ergo Soft Watercolor Pencils to finish the piece.