Pop Art Lesson

Pop Art

(An e-mail interview with our Art teacher)

1. In a couple of sentences what would you say was the purpose of this activity?

The main purpose of this activity was to learn about Andy Warhol's portrait making style. We did this by hand colouring "ready-made" images of famous people. By ready made I mean we used pictures from magazines rather than pictures taken ourselves. I also wanted to make you aware of some other features of pop art such as bright flat colours, large size and repeated images.

2. Why did you decide to do this activity with our class?

I decided to do this activity with your class because you had already been doing some image manipulation of portraits on the computer and I thought it would be an interesting extension of that idea.It was also a fun way to learn about this art style in the 1960s.

3. Who is your favourite pop artist and why?

My favourite pop artist is Roy Lichtenstein, an American artist who used the idea of comic strips enlarged so they resembled the dot printing technique used in newsprint. I also like Andy Warhol's silkscreen images of famous people which is one of the reasons I wanted to do this activity.

4. Can you briefly explain how you did this activity with us so that other classes around the world can do this activity?

Step by step pop art:

1. Firstly look at screen printed portraits by Andy Warhol to get some ideas about colours to use.
2. Photocopy a magazine photo of a famous person's face or head (make sure it is not too dark).
3. Make 4 to 6 copies either to A4 or A3 size depending on how big you want your finished work.
4. Use liquid watercolours in pure bright colours to paint each of these areas in flat colour - the hair - the lips - the eyes or eye shadow around eyes the background.
You can paint each face identically or each one using different colours.

5. What would you change next time you did this activity with a class?

Next time I would be much clearer in my explanations and demonstrations about applying ink to get across the idea of flat areas of pure colour.(to imitate the screen printing technique of Warhol) I would also make it clear that there should be no rosy cheeks or vampire teeth etc added to the portraits!

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