Snowflakes form when ice crystals form around a speck of dust or other debris. As water freezes, it takes the shape of a crystal lattice, causing snowflakes to exhibit stunning geometric patterns. It is said that no two snowflakes are exactly alike, and that is likely true in the crystal’s minutest details.
However, snowflakes can be placed in eight categories and eighty subcategories based on their basic shape. These include needle, plate, column, prism, dendrite, and rime. The formation known as a “capped column” snowflake actually resembles the TIE fighter from the Star Wars movies!
Much of our knowledge of the snowflake’s shape can be attributed to the work of researcher Wilson Alwyn Bently, begining in 1885. Bently photographed thousands of snowflakes using a microscope, or order to determine whether identical snowflakes could be found. In his photographs, he never found two flakes that were just alike. It is estimated that the average snowfall contains more than 5 quintillion snowflakes – that’s 5 followed by 18 zeros.
Snowflake images are used to symbolize a number of ideas. In Europe and North America, the snowflake is used to represent the Christmas season. Its white color has caused it to become a symbol of purity. The snowflake shape also symbolizes cold weather, the winter season, and winter sports. It has been a part of the emblem for the Winter Olympics since 1968.
Would you like to draw your very own snowflake to make greeting cards, decorations, or other artwork? Welcome winter using this easy, step-by-step snowflake drawing tutorial. All you will need is a pencil, an eraser, and a piece of paper. In each step, you will find a detailed illustration accompanied by explanatory text. New lines drawn in each step are always highlighted in blue. Some step include the removal of previously drawn lines, called guide lines.
Are you ready to draw enough snowflakes for your school to declare it a snow day? If so, let it snow, let snow, let it snow!
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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Snowflake
1. Begin by drawing two long, straight, vertical lines, running parallel to one another. These lines will form the central shaft of the snowflake.
2. Draw another set of long, straight, parallel lines, crossing the first at a diagonal angle. These lines form additional arms of the snowflake.
3. Draw a third set of long, straight, parallel lines, crossing at the same point where the other lines meet. Your snowflake will now have six arms, all evenly spaced.
4. Draw a small hexagon in the middle of the snowflake, using six straight lines. The points of the hexagon should be aligned with the arms of the snowflake.
5. Erase the guide lines from within the hexagon.
6. Draw a small circle to enclose the end of each arm of the snowflake.
7. On each arm of the snowflake, extend two sets of straight, parallel lines at diagonal angles as compared to the arm. Enclose the shape with a small, curved line on each end. The resulting figure will resemble a boomerang. Repeat this process until a shape has been drawn on each arm.
8. Between the boomerang shape and the small circle on each arm of the snowflake, draw another, smaller boomerang shape. Use two sets of straight, parallel lines, and two short, curved lines for each. Repeat this process on each arm of the snowflake.
9. Erase guide lines from the snowflake.
10. Snow appears white, of course, but the clear ice crystals that form an individual snowflake can reflect all the colors of the rainbow. Our example is shown in blue.
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