Art Lessons and Projects for Children: Andy Warhol and Pop Art
Exploring Artists: Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928–February 22, 1987) was a painter, film maker and author who was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in America. Between 1945 and 1949, he studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology before later moving to New York where he worked as a commercial artist and designed advertising and window displays.
Warhol worked using many types of art media, including hand drawing, painting, printing, sculpture, film making and photography. Towards the end of his life, he was also one of the first people to work in computer-generated art using the newly introduced Amiga computers.
Andy Warhol and Pop Art
The pop art movement began in Britain in the 1950s and soon became popular throughout Britain and America. The name 'pop art' comes from the term popular art. The movement began as a rebelling against traditional art forms and beliefs about what was seen as art at the time. The young artists of the time felt that the art they saw around them and much of what they learnt at art school did not have any similarities to them or their lives.
In order to create art that they felt was more relevant to themselves, they turned to Hollywood films, comic books, product packaging and pop music for inspiration. Pop art designs were often colourful and the featured subjects would be drawn in a cartoon or simplified style.
Campbell's Soup and Marilyn Monroe
Andy Warhol created many art works depicting mass-produced items that people liked to buy. These included Campbell's soup cans and Coke bottles. It is thought that he chose the Campbell's soup can to paint because he ate the soup every day for his lunch. He also made colourful prints of famous people such as Marilyn Monroe and Mick Jagger.
Unlike most other artists who only produced one copy of a painting, Warhol used screen printing to produce and sell many copies of his designs. He was criticised by many people who felt that he was not producing true art and that his methods reduced art to merely production and business.
Pop Art Digital Art Project
For this project, you will need a simple picture of an everyday object or other chosen subject. The picture should just be the outline of the item with no colour. The picture will then be duplicated and coloured using a computer program such as Paint.
1. Search the internet or scan into the computer your choice of picture.
2. Open your picture in Paint and, using the square or rectangle shape tool, draw a box around the picture.
3. Now, click on the tool bar box that says ‘Select’ and click on ‘Transparent Selection’. Hold down the left mouse button and drag a box around the edge of the edited picture. Copy the edited image onto the computer clipboard either using the menu or by pressing Ctrl + C at the same time.
4. This copied image can now be pasted into the document so you will have two identical pictures. This can be done using the menus in Paint or by pressing Ctrl + V.
5. Paste the picture into this Paint document again and place it next to the first one, then paste it in yet again and place this copy beneath the first one. Repeat so that you have four copies of the same picture in a block of four (see image above).
6. Select the fill tool from the tool bar and colour the first picture using bright colours. These do not need to be the actual colours of the item.
7. Move on to colouring the second, third and fourth pictures in the same way. When colouring their art, pop artists would sometimes use the same colours in each copy of the item but switch around where they were placed. For example, in one picture the background may be red and a ball blue, but in the version next to it the ball would be red and the background blue.
Another technique you could try is to choose a small selection of colours (4–5 colours works well) and only use these, taking care to ensure that the same colours do not touch and that no parts of the picture are the same colour. If you make a mistake at any point or change your mind about a colour, pressing Ctrl + Z will undo your actions.
8. Once the pictures are completely coloured, save your work using an easy-to-remember name. This can be done by choosing ‘Save As’ from the File menu or by pressing Ctrl + S together.
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