Tessellation #3: Animal

Check out more student examples here.

Create unique shape

Canvas Size

Click and drag out your canvas so it's about 1000 x 1000 (make sure you see all of the canvas at 100%).

Zoom in to 500% using the slider at the bottom right of the window.

Draw a rectangle

Select the Rectangle tool

  • Colors: set foreground to red, background color to white.
  • Outline = no outline
  • Fill = solid color

Draw out a rectangle/square (by dragging while right-clicking) with lots of room around it. 

Set the Selection tool to "Free-form", making sure transparent is checked.

Select a part of the left side of the shape, making sure you use the entire side. Start outside and end outside the side of the rectangle!

Move the selection using the right arrow key to the other side. Make sure you don't use the mouse or go up/down at all! Then click off.

Repeat the previous procedure, selecting from the top and sliding to the bottom (or vice versa).

Block of shapes

Copy shape

  1. Select your shape with the rectangular selection tool and Copy (CTRL+C).
  2. Zoom out to about 300%. You want to be able to line up and fit your shapes together, see individual pixels.
  3. Using the Paint Bucket tool, change the color of the shape you have to anything else.
  4. Paste (CTRL+V) and move the shape into place so it fits the first one.
  1. Change the color of the shape you just pasted and moved to anything else.
  2. Paste and move the copy into place.
  3. Change the color of the shape you just pasted.
  4. Paste and move the copy into place.


Make your shapes unique - add eyes or other details with the Pencil or Brush tool (so long as you stay totally inside your shape, not touching the edge at all).

Fill Canvas

  1. Zoom out to 200%.
  2. Select the entire block and Copy.
  3. Move your original block close to the upper left corner, where you can see the entire shape still.
  4. Paste and move to line up (matching horizontally or vertically, not staggered - you don't want to end up with 2 shapes of the same color touching!)


  1. Repeat until your canvas is filled, using the scroll bars or scroll wheel on your mouse to move around- okay to have some empty areas on the sides.
  2. Zoom out to 100%.


Select with the area that's completely filled with shapes, no white spots, then use the Crop button.