Pop Art Culture- Andy Warhol

I thought I would introduce color theory by incorporating a fun pop art lesson. There are a few pop artists that were used as inspiration for this piece. It was Dr. Seuss week so I thought I would use Dr. Seuss drawings for the subject matter. So, if your kids came home telling you that we learned to draw the Lorax or Truffula Trees that's why!

Our goal is learning the color wheel. We will know what primary and secondary colors are, how to mix colors, and for some of my classes I will talk about complimentary colors. This lesson will lead up to contrast and emphasis which we will learn next week after we complete our projects.

I thought this would be a fun way to introduce color theory to the class. As you can see from the "Color Wheel Eggs and Ham" we will learn primary secondary and complimentary colors. The primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) are stagard between the secondary colors (orange, green, purple). How we accomplished this project was really quite simple, but requires a little bit of patience and delicate handling. Our pop art picture above incorporates the works of a few important pop artists. The first is Andy Warhol, who was one of the first artist to masterfully reproduce the same image over and over using a technique called silk-screening. An example of this would be Andy's "Marilyn" screenprint. Marilyn is acrylic on canvas. The paint was applied by using different colored inks through photo-stencils. Just shortly after the actresses death, Andy felt inspired and used a publicity photograph that was taken after her role in the the film Niagra in 1953.

Our students used foam sheets and drew Dr. Seuss images on them pressing hard enough with our pencils that when we applied a thin coat of paint on them, the depression from the pencil drawing would leave the white of the paper where the rest of the paper would transfer the paint. ​​​

You can look closely at the "Eggs and Ham" image here to see the print. The background was inspired by the pop artist Roy Lichtenstein's Benday dots. He used these dots on background of a lot of his works and created them using the screen-printing process. OUR Benday dots were created using.......bubble wrap! The kids loved this! I personally think it's really fun to paint the wrap and press it down on the watercolor grids that we made.

What we learned was that it was really hard to press the stencil that we made onto the grid directly. Using plain white paper to press our stencils on was much easier to see! We learned that when loading the paint on the stencil that a thin coat is the best application process. Also we used even pressure using a roller or squeegee or if very careful we can smooth the surface of our stencil using even pressure with our hands. We then carefully peeled the stamp away. If we put paint on too thick it gets into the grooves of our stencil sketch and the print come out like an ink blot:) YIKES!

So this video below is a SUPER cool video that explains the screen printing process that Andy Warhol used. It is not something that we did, but if you or your children would like to see how Warhol did it all please watch this. It is AMAZING!

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