Spirals in modern art Artists all over the world have been using the principles of geometric spirals for centuries. Nods to the artistic movement can be seen in the works of Van Gough’s famous “Starry Night” oil painting, as well as modern artists like American, painter and printmaker Louise Bourgeois, whose oil-based woodcuts made on Japanese handmade paper are entitled “spirals”.


Your task is to create a code in turtle graphics that enables users to create spirals (dependent on the parameters entered). 

You will also learn more about art both by wathing a video of the artist van Gogh and the use of math in his painting and by having a discussion about what art is and about who, or what, that can become an artist.


Watch the video in resources and learn more about the math in Van Gough´s painting.

Introduction: Watch the video of the elephant that makes art.

Group discussion: Is it only humans that can make art? Can animals be artist? And what about computers and AI?
Read the article "When Computers make art" as a basis for the discussion.

Code your own program that creates mathematical art.
Your code should…

  • Allow the user to enter parameters for change in the size of the spiral shape, the speed of the turtle, the pen thickness used to draw the spiral, and the angle at which the next shape is drawn compared to the last. 
  • Draw a spiral on the screen made up of the same shape, that rotates in different directions and changes colour.

Follow the step by step instructions that you can find under Documents in resources. 



You are now able to make your own program that makes art! Think about who the real artist is: You, the computer or the person that came up with the code...?

Learning Objectives

  • You should be able to use turtle graphics to create a circle, at varying positions on the screen.
  • You should be able to use subroutines with recursion as a method of iteration (repeating code).
  • You should have an idea about diffrent perceptions ther are about who can become an artist.