The art of mathematical scribbling

Here is a guide for how to draw impressive abstract pictures. For this activity you will only need paper and a few colouring pencils.

Step 1: Using a pencil, draw a wavy line which meanders across the page as chaotically as possible, which often intersects with itself, and which finishes where it started. Make sure that the line never crosses a point where it has already intersected with itself. It should look something like this:

Step 2: The line has now divided the page up into many sections. Exactly 4 such sections meet at each point where the lines cross. Now you can use two colouring pencils to fill in the sections, alternating between the two colours so that no two neighbouring sections are the same colour. In the image below you can see how this has been done with black and white.

It looks a bit like a chessboard, but not quite. No matter where you start drawing, it always works in the same way.

In this video you can see both steps being carried out:

Those who are artistically inclined can also try out the following variation. Rub out the lines to make them appear to go over and under each other, and then shade these areas in to create an intricate image like in the example below.


Show us what you have drawn!
Post your artwork on Instagram with the hashtag #mathforkids