Perspective Mandalas

Lesson Purpose

To introduce students to one-point perspective using mandalas to enhance visual appeal and access prior knowledge. 

Curriculum (The Ontario Curriculum, Visual Arts, Grade 7)

This three-part lesson teaches the highlighted concepts. To strengthen student understanding, take time to demonstrate and have students try out each concept before diving in to the finished piece. The project may be paired with a second “symbol/icon” mandala (if you really, really like seeing thousands of AMONGUS everywhere you look.)


Teacher: Scanner, printer, Microsoft PAINT, grid sheet printout, clear tape
Students: paper (dotted, grid, or plain all work), pencil, ruler, clear tape, pencil crayons or markers for colouring


Here are 9 images showing different variations of exercise proof. They have a variety of vanishing points and shapes. Click on the images to view them larger. Images may be shown to students. Please do not steal and sell them!

Each image may be arranged in four possible ways to create a symmetrical image. If the first image had one focal point in a corner, a strong one-point perspective image is created by placing the converging focal point in the middle. You can see samples of this in Proofs A, B, F, H, and I. Image C shows what happens when the focal point is not in a corner. In fact, images C, D, E, and G show variations of 2-point perspective, created either by rearranging the squares so that a single, corner VP is doubled, or by creating multiple vanishing points within the image. Click on the image to the right to see which strategy was used for each base design.

Lesson Breakdown - Step by Step

Day 1
Step 1 – creating shapes that touch set points in a grid. 
Step 2 – lightly hatching or highlighting the shapes
Step 3 – creating a vanishing point.
Step 4 – creating orthongols from corners to vanishing point (that do not cross through shapes)
Step 5 – carefully cutting out patterns from student grid sheet printout.
Step 6 – Taping patterns onto master grid sheet prinout & writing name under pattern

Step 1 – scan Master sheets
Step 2 – Print 2x copy of each sheet.
Step 3 – Flip digital sheet horizontally.
Step 4 – Print 2x copy of each sheet.
You now have 4 copies of each student’s piece, which fit together into a pattern.
Step 5 – Carefully cut out 4 copies of one piece. Make sure that it works. 
Step 6 – Roughly cut out student work and place in sets.

Day 2
Step 1 – Students refine the cutting of their works by cutting along edge of rectangle. Ask them to follow the outer grid line for best results.
Step 2 – Students experiment with their work to see how they would like to put it together. They have many options here.
Step 3 – Students colour in their work.
Step 4 – Students add blue to the work to give it depth. They may outline orthangols, shade with pencil crayon or transluscent marker, or add hatching.
Step 5 – Students use clear tape to attach their work along the edges. They can use a little tape on the front for placement and then reinforce at the back.

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