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Elementary [1st-5th] Lesson Plan

Monochromatic Identity

Created on September 03, 2013 by NoCornerSuns

Intermediate students use tempera to paint a photograph of themselves that has been manipulated in PhotoShop. Students learn and practice using a monochromatic color scheme.

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3 sessions; 60 minutes per session

Students will learn about the artist/designer Shepard Fairey.
Students will understand the concept of identity in art.
Students will know how to create rhythmic patterns.
Students will know how to paint monochromatic color schemes.

Heavyweight tag board
Colored permanent markers
Digital Camera
Computer & Printer
PhotoShop or similar photo manipulation software
Tempera paint (Color spectrum colors and black & white)
Construction Paper
Paint palettes

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

There are many parts to a students’ identity. Their physical characteristics, their personality, and their environment are just a few. Throughout history artists have brought forth their identity through vivid self-portraits, collage, and photography. There is no right or wrong way to show who you are through your art, but how you show it can tell the viewer a lot about you.

For this project, students will focus on parts of their identity and list what is important to them and what makes their identity unique. Using mirrors, students will practice how they can portray their identity physically.

The art teacher will take a photograph of the student in their practiced pose. It can be of their head neck and shoulders, just their face, or more. It depends on how the student wishes their identity to be portrayed.

Next, the photographs will be digitally enhanced in PhotoShop. Each photo can be resized if necessary to fit to 8 ½ x 11. The image will have the filter >artistic> cutout applied. One copy should be printed for each student in black and white.

In recent art history the manipulation of photographic images has become brought to the forefront of our visual culture. The street artist/graphic designer Shepard Fairey gained notoriety during President Obama’s presidential campaign for altering an Associated Press photograph for the now infamous Obama HOPE poster. Students will enjoy hearing about the life and art of Shepard Fairey. This poster had an impact on the identity of then presidential hopeful Barack Obama and is now part of the National Gallery. The rise of a 21st century artist and the similarities in the artwork they will be producing will give this project a connection to the outside world for the students.

Students will next learn about monochromatic color schemes and rhythmic patterns in art. There are several different types of rhythm found in art like one-beat patterns, flowing, jazzy patterns, just like in music! What kind of pattern matches their identity? Students will come up with a rhythmic pattern background for their photograph on a 9 x 12” piece of tag board. The pattern will be traced in their choice of colored permanent marker. This will be the color they paint it monochromatically.

Students will paint their portrait with a different monochromatic color scheme from their background. If they would like to trace the shadowy shapes first that were created by the computer manipulation, it might be helpful. The lightest gray tones will be their lightest tints. Their darkest blacks will be the darkest shades.

The painted photographs will be cut out and glued to construction paper, then cut out again and glued to the painted backgrounds.

Did I show my PERSONALITY in this portrait
Do I know how to describe RHYTHM in art? Do I know what RHYTHM I used in the background of my portrait?
Can I describe what a MONOCHROMATIC color scheme is?
Do I know who the artist Shepard Fairey is? What is his contribution to Art History?
Does my final product look unique and original?
Did I do QUALITY work?


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[5-8] Students select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices

Visual Arts Standard 3:
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

[5-8] Students use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks
[5-8] Students integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in their artworks

Visual Arts Standard 4:
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures

[5-8] Students know and compare the characteristics of artworks in various eras and cultures
[5-8] Students describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts

Visual Arts Standard 5:
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

[5-8] Students compare multiple purposes for creating works of art

Visual Arts Standard 6:
Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

[5-8] Students compare the characteristics of works in two or more art forms that share similar subject matter, historical periods, or cultural context

Postmodernism, Street Art

Color/Value, Contrast