“I’ve got those moves like Warhol, I’ve got those moooooo-ves like Warhol…”
This weekend I was inspired to let a little creativity out. For the longest time, I had been wanting to try this pop art project that I had seen in a “Do it Yourself” magazine a few months ago. The project was inspired by Andy Warhol, an American artist famous in the 1960’s and 1970’s for his pop art.
The magazine article outlined a simple protocol for turning a favorite photo you may have into art. Another great thing about this project is that you can finish it in a day (acrylic paint dries fast), so you will get instant gratification. The key is practice, practice, and more practice. But for my first go around, I was completely pleased with the results.
My inspiration: My furry baby, Bella Cat
picture frame with glass panels
Black-and-white photo (one printed in reverse from your computer works well)
Acrylic paint: white and one other color (I used a hot pink)
Paintbrushes in several sizes
Razor blade (to scrape off any painting mistakes)
1. Clean the glass with rubbing alcohol. Place the photo face-up on your work surface. Place the glass on top, securing the photo to the glass with painter’s tape.
2. On the glass, use the white paint to highlight the brightest details in the photo, including teeth, glints in eyes, and lightened areas of hair or clothing. Blend your strokes to avoid sharp lines. Let dry.
3. Use a thin-tip brush and your deepest color to outline the darkest features of the photo. Trace around the face. Use brushstrokes that mimic the texture, such as the wisps of the hair around the forehead and eyebrows. Let dry.
4. Mix white with your other color to create a lighter version. Dabbing over the lines you previously painted, fill in the shadows of your photo–all the areas that aren’t quite white but just a tad darker. Let dry.
5. To create your final tone, mix a slightly darker shade than in the previous step. Make sure all previous coats of paint are dry to avoid smudging. Now use a large brush and the medium color to cover the entire piece of glass by dabbing rather than brushing. Let dry.
6. Now for the fun part. Flip the glass over, remove the tape and the photo, and marvel at your work!
Key on contrast. The sharper your black- and-white photo, the easier it will be to see the distinctions between light areas and dark shadows. Use basic photo-editing software on your computer to intensify the image’s contrast.
Go deep. When choosing an acrylic paint color, select a deep hue to give the shades as much variation as possible.
Blend in. Experiment with blending techniques. You’ll discover quickly how to create different effects with your brushes. Blend less to achieve a defined look. Blend more for a photographic feel.
Try, try again. If you mess up, scrape the mistake off with a razor blade and resume.
###If you are interested in watching a pop art “how to video” click here.