Explore Symmetry: Draw the Other Half Activity

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Updated on Sep 25, 2012

Most faces are symmetrical—that is, both sides of the face have similar proportions. In fact, having a symmetrical face is a mark of beauty. The more symmetrical a face is the more beautiful it is considered to be. That's why, throughout the centuries, many works of art featuring faces or designs in paintings, sculptures, and patterns seek to have symmetry. In this activity, inspire your teenager to explore symmetry with this project that has her practicing art and math measurements by drawing the other half of a given face.

What You Need:

  • A close-up magazine image or photo of an animal face or a human face. Both sides of the face should be clearly visible.
  • White drawing paper
  • A ruler
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • A pencil

What You Do:

  1. Use a ruler to draw a vertical line down the center of the face photo. This is a line of symmetry. Cut along the line to create two halves.
  2. Glue or tape one side of the image to a plain sheet of paper. Do not put any tape or glue on the side where you will be drawing. Be sure to leave enough space on the sheet of paper for you to complete the missing half.
  3. Before drawing, take a moment to observe the face. To figure out where the facial features you'll be drawing should go, use your ruler to measure the horizontal (sideways) and vertical (up-and-down) distances from the photo's specific features to the line of symmetry. For instance, the distance from the bridge of the nose to the inner corner of the eye would be the same on both sides of the face, so measuring from the inner corner to the line of symmetry on one side will tell you how far away the line is to the other inner corner.
  4. With these measurements, you can map out beforehand where the drawn facial features should go by lightly placing pencil marks where you've calculated them to be.
  5. Now start drawing the other half of the face!

When you're done, you should have a beautiful symmetrical face. Try this again with different kinds of faces to check out how features and proportions differ among people, or try it with other symmetrical objects like simple shapes, patterns, and even butterflies!

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