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Pop Art Portraits

Pop Art Portraits
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By Andrea Mulder-Slater, with notes from Geoff Snyder [Geoff is a teacher at Harry Hoag Elementary in Fort Plain, NY]

What You Need:

  • visuals of Andy Warhol’s work
  • camera
  • 6×6 inch drawing paper
  • pencils
  • crayons
  • paint
  • glitter
  • glue
  • 18×24 inch black construction paper
  • black marker

What You Do:

Day One:

  1. Introduce Andy Warhol to the class. If possible have reproductions of “100 Soup Cans, 25 Marilyns and Green Coca-Cola Bottles, 1962. Explain the term “pop art” and how the term applies to Warhol’s work. Also point out the use of repetition in Warhol’s work and how he wanted to become a machine.
  2. Explain to the students that they will be creating self-portraits, but using Warhol’s sense of color and use of repetition.
  3. Take photos of each of your students. Depending on the number of cameras/phones, you could have the students pair up or set  up in groups of four to take the photos. The photos should be only of the face and shoulders.
  4. Before the next class, print and photocopy each student’s portrait 6 times. This is the repetition part of the lesson.

Day Two and Three:

  1. Begin class recapping the day before and talk about Warhol’s use of repetition and wanting to be a machine. Hand each student their drawing and 6 photocopies. Have students color each portrait using only a few colors. Encourage them to color each section of the portrait (hair, face, shoulders and background) a solid color and use only one color combination once. They can use the same colors again, but not the same combination. Discourage the use of black, white and brown. Tell students to keep their portraits as bright and colorful as possible.
  2. Once the students have finished coloring each portrait they are to cut them out and arrange and glue their 6 portraits onto black paper. This should be done horizontally. Close the lesson by discussing Warhol and how his work related to the project. Have a small art show by hanging up all the works around the room and let the students walk around and look at each one. Have the students pick a favorite work and explain why they like it.


About Andy Warhol:

Type of Work: Painting and Illustration
Born: August 6, 1928 (Pennsylvania)
Died: 1987
Nationality: American
Style/Movement: Pop Art
Best Known For: Using everyday images in his work.
Important Works: Mao, 1973, Marilyn, 1964, Campbell’s Soup 1, 1968

Green Marily, Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
Green Marilyn, 1962
silkscreen on synthetic polymer
paint on canvas, (20″ x 16″)
Gift of William C. Seitz and Irma S. Seitz,
in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the
National Gallery of Art
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Reprinted with Permission

More Information:

Andy Warhol @ the NGA

Andy Warhol Museum


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