SWOOSH – Identity, Line, Typography

Students work with a partner to create a quick monoprint by each making a swoosh of paint on paper and then rubbing the two paintings together. They compare the results and then use their own print as the starting point for an abstract self-portrait that includes words and symbols.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 2 to Grade 8

Subject

Language Arts
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

colour identity line movement swoosh symbol

Steps

SWOOSH – Identity, Line, Typography - Step One

Step One

  1. Load your brush with lots of paint.
  2. Paint on the paper with one continuous bold stroke until the paint runs out.
  3. Let your energy flow in a "swoosh".
SWOOSH – Identity, Line, Typography - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Work with a partner.
  2. Make sure both paintings are still wet.
SWOOSH – Identity, Line, Typography - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Place your partner's painting on the table with the paint facing up.
  2. Place your painting on top of your partner's painting with the paint facing down.
  3. Rub the papers together.
SWOOSH – Identity, Line, Typography - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Pull the papers apart.
  2. You have made monoprints.
  3. View your monoprints side by side.
    - How are they the same?
    - How are they different?
    - What stands out in each print?
SWOOSH – Identity, Line, Typography - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Brainstorm a list of things that represent you, for example,
    - personality traits
    - favourite colours
    - favourite foods and things
    - favourite activities
    - favourite subjects
  2. Choose the qualities you want to include in your design to turn your swoosh print into an abstract self-portrait.
  3. Use markers and construction paper to add words and symbols to your swoosh print.
  4. Let the shapes and spaces guide your thinking.
SWOOSH – Identity, Line, Typography - Step Six

Step Six

  1. View your self-portrait with fresh eyes.
  2. Work with a partner.
  3. Take turns interpreting each other's self-portraits. (Downloads – InterpretArt.pdf)
    - fold the Interpreting Art form in half along the centre line.
    - write what your wanted to communicate in your self-portrait on the A-artist side of the form.
    - do not let your partner see what you have written
    - trade pictures and forms with the B-partner side facing up
    - do not look at what your partner has written
    - write what you think the picture means on the B-partner  side of the form
    - return the papers and pictures
    - read and discuss what you both have written
  4. Share your interpretations.
    - What did you learn about your partner?
    - What did you learn about yourself?

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • use mixed media techniques to create an abstract self-portrait;
  • use text and symbols to convey a message;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity;
  • interpret a peer's abstract self-portrait;
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

Extensions

Have students:

  • use the Modern Calligraphy lesson plan available on this website to learn how to write decorative letters;
  • use the Powerful Posters lesson plan available on this website to create a poster showing them as they see themselves in the future;
  • create a video of themselves in role as the person in their poster;
  • share their poster and video with the class.

Prepare

  1. Add a little water to the tempera paint so it is thin and free flowing.
  2. Place paints and brushes in baskets for easy distribution.
  3. Place students into groups of about 6.
  4. Download and display the Colour, Line, and Movement posters available on this website.
    - review or teach the elements of colour and line – symbolism of colours, line - direction, width, length, focus and texture
    - review or teach the principle of movement – directional lines, shapes, edges

Introduction

  1. Have students take a few minutes and to use the word list as a starter to think about qualities and interests that make them who they are. (Downloads – SwooshWordList.pdf)
  2. Discuss how shapes and colours can be used to represent aspects of your personality.
  3. Ask them to choose a few words and some symbols to represent them.
  4. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Use mixed media techniques to create an abstract self-portrait.
  2. Use text and symbols to convey a message.
  3. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  4. Interpret a peer's abstract self-portrait.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when my self-portrait:
    - includes a painted swoosh
    - is a monoprint combining my lines and a partner's lines
    - has shapes that represent me in some way
    - has colours that express my personality
    - includes text that represents me
    - is in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Have students use the Interpreting Art form and work with a partner. (Downloads – InterpretArt.pdf)
    - fold the Interpreting Art form in half along the centre line.
    - write what your wanted to communicate in your self-portrait on the A-artist side of the form.
    - do not let your partner see what you have written
    - trade pictures and forms with the B-partner side facing up
    - do not look at what your partner has written
    - write what you think the picture means on the B-partner  side of the form
    - return the papers and pictures
    - read and discuss what you both have written
  2. Invite some students to share what they learned with the whole class.
  3. Ask students what they thought of this activity.
  4. Display the pictures as a body of work.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss the self-portraits – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads – Swoosh_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students reflect on their own artworks in their sketchbooks/journals. Ask students: 
    - What worked well in your artwork? Why?                                                                                                                                                                                 
    - What would you change or do differently next time? 
    - What did you learn about yourself?