Dip, Swirl, Dab, Swipe

By using the sequence, dip, swirl, dab and swipe, and the correct terminology such as ‘apply’ and ‘bristles,’ students followed an art process, and gained an understanding of the words and skills involved in visual art. They were then able to show these skills and talk about their actions using the …

Read More


This is the process of getting the colour from the paint by dipping the bristles of the paintbrush into water.

Dab and Swirl

Dab involves dabbing lightly on the water colour block and swirling the brush around to spread the water and lift the paint.  Students repeated the instructions out loud. This helped cement the sequence in their minds. 


Students experimented with the amount of colour they needed on the bristles of the paint brush so that the colour would be bright enough on the picture. Through trial and error, they  found out that they needed to dip the brush in the water a few times to get the colour they wanted. This was demonstrated by Mrs Griffin and students observed her actions which they then experimented with to find the intensity of colour they desired.


Applying the paint carefully in smooth swipes within the lines was the next step. Students watched Mrs Griffin demonstrating this process. She showed students how to use the brush carefully so the bristles flowed in one direction without pushing them down hard on the picture.  Some students were surprised to learn that they had to use a ‘pencil grip’ to hold the brush correctly.

The students then learned about the importance of cleaning their brushes in the water before changing colour so that they had a clean brush and the paints wouldn’t mix together. Watching the demonstration closely, they saw Mrs Griffin follow the ‘dip, swirl, dab, and swipe’ steps again with a new colour to create a bright and beautiful painting.  Students used this new learning and the dip, swirl, dab and swipe  sequence to apply the paint to their own paintings. They have been observed using this technique and the vocabulary in further artistic creations showing their understanding and skill growth through this process.

I cleaned my brush in the water when I wanted to change colour.

I painted with orange on my picture.

I can apply the paint inside the lines to paint my picture.

I had lots of colour on my brush.

2024 Griffin

Fiona Griffin

I believe Wairakei Primary School is a special place. It provides a safe environment for our children to discover, create and develop their love of learning.

I grew up in Taupō and have lived here most of my life. I am married with two grown sons and two delightful grandchildren. My husband and I enjoy travelling, spending time with our family and friends, tramping and camping. I love arts and crafts, in particular painting and sketching. Before becoming a teacher, I was a tailor and had my own clothing design business. I still enjoy designing and making clothing, especially wedding dresses.

I have been a teacher since 2005. I joined Wairakei Primary School in 2018. I love teaching and I especially love teaching at Wairakei Primary School. I became a teacher after 7 years as a scout leader for 1st Taupō Scouts. This was where I realised my desire to inspire and educate children was more important to me than just one hour, once a week.

jC WPS2023 Ross

Carla Ross

I am passionate about our students, teaching and learning, particularly in the areas of literacy, digital technology, physical education, and the Arts. I believe that forming positive relationships with students and whānau are at the heart of success for everyone.

I enjoy Wairakei Primary School for the whānaungatanga and maanaakitanga where close connections between staff, students, and the wider Wairakei community are fostered and enjoyed.


No one has commented on this post yet.

Ready to enrol now? It's risk free