From a brush stroke to a masterpiece: In the movie “Factory Made,” a film about the Andy Warhol Factory, there is a scene in which the Velvet Underground are rehearsing. One of the singers says irritably to his fellow band member John Cale, “You know what I hate? When something isn’t finished.”
That may be why many people fail as artists or writers. They don’t see that the process of making art is often more important than what you make. This is even more true for those who want to make commercial art that sells.
So how does a great canvas get made? To explain this, I am going to use an example from my favorite painting: Roy Lichtenstein’s Whaam!
It’s one of Lichtenstein’s early paintings, and you may know it already. It depicts a fighter jet shooting at an enemy plane. The primary colors and strong outlines tell you it is by Lichtenstein. If you like his style, you might say the painting has everything: drama, romance and patriotism.
As with any great work of art, however, it took some time to build up to this final canvas:
1) An idea for a painting must be found or conceived. 2) A painting must
Every time we see a pop-art piece of art, we imagine the artist sitting behind their canvas and quickly sketching out each stroke of the brush. However, this is not always the case. In fact, each pop-art piece of art goes through a long process before it even reaches its final form.
Towards the end of my visit in The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh PA, I was able to view up close some of the vast collection of his artwork from throughout his career. One of my favorites is his “Brillo Boxes” work from 1962. It is made up of several different layers, which were applied to create textured effect that comes across so vividly in the final product. Each layer must be carefully thought out beforehand to ensure that a cohesive piece is created at the end. This means that Warhol did not simply whip out this masterpiece in a matter of minutes like I previously imagined.
The first step that Warhol took towards creating his “Brillo Boxes” was to sketch out each image onto paper as he saw it in his mind’s eye. He would then transfer these sketches into a grid format using graphite on translucent vellum paper. His grid technique allowed him to divide up each panel into equal squares and
The process of creating a artwork is fascinating. Many people have seen paintings, and even made some, but have no idea how the process goes. This article discusses the process of creating a pop art painting, and more generally, any kind of painting. The process is not simple and there are different factors that can affect the outcome. In this case, Warhol has a unique style, which is easily recognizable by its distinct colors and lines. The process described here was done for his “200 One Dollar Bills” which is held in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Towards the end of his life pop artist Andy Warhol decided to revisit a series that he created 27 years earlier making changes to some of the original artworks. He accomplished this through an experiment with an art restoration expert named Robert LaVerne who worked with Warhol to restore the original silkscreen paintings he did back in 1962.
Warhol’s “200 One Dollar Bills”, were originally created as part of a series titled “Death and Disaster”. The series was based on a set of photos published in June 1963 by Time Magazine showing graphic images of accidents and suicides.* They were taken by police photographers who had been dispatched by insurance companies to document these kinds of events
Warhol paintings are created from silk screen printing, a technique that was invented in 1844 and improved in the 1890s to make large-scale printing possible. Warhol was fascinated by the process as well as its speed and accuracy. He also loved the mechanical look of printed images. Warhol used his skills of commercial printing to create images of American symbols like dollar bills and Campbell’s soup cans at sizes ranging from 11 x 14 inches to 20 x 32 feet.
The process starts with a blank canvas that is stretched across a large wooden frame. This canvas will serve as a stencil to transfer ink onto paper or canvas that is placed underneath it. First, the artist prepares a sketch or design on paper. This can be just about anything, including a photo or a line drawing, but it must contain all the elements of the final image on one page.
Sherrie Levine, Warhol’s assistant for almost 25 years, recalls how he worked: “Andy always drew everything out directly. He never even thought about using a computer.” Next, the artist makes an enlarged copy (called a “silkscreen”) of his sketch from an acetate transparency onto clear Mylar plastic using a light table and an opaque projector (like those used in slide projectors). The
Warhol’s art is well known for his painting of Campbell’s soup cans. Warhol was to become one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. However, his earliest works were not paintings but silk screens of comic book panels.
Towards the end of the 1950s, Warhol began experimenting with different methods of transferring images onto canvas. He became interested in a new process that involved pressing a brush onto wet paint and then transferring that image onto a screen. This technique allowed Warhol to produce an almost identical copy of an image in only a few minutes, whereas traditional methods could take days or even weeks.
In 1962, Warhol produced his first painting in this new style. “Bicycle Wheel” is a nearly indistinguishable copy of a photograph taken by Edward Ruscha depicting a bicycle wheel. In 1963, he took this process one step further by starting to make images from photographs he had taken himself with his camera. By producing mass-produced artworks rather than original pieces, Warhol found that he could save time and money while still making work that was wholly his own.*
Pop Art is an art movement that emerged in the mid-1950s in Britain and the late 1950s in the United States. It was inspired by pop culture and mass media, particularly advertising, comic books and magazine illustrations.
Pop artists rejected traditional concepts of fine art with its emphasis on high culture, good taste, and refined technique. They were instead inspired by popular commercial art and the images of celebrities in the media. Many pop artists used bright colors and images of commercial products to make their works both striking and accessible to a wide audience.
For example Andy Warhol made a silk screen painting of Coca Cola bottles which he then sold for $25000. How do you think he did it? What steps must have he taken? If you want to know how this famous artwork was created, take a look at our essay about how Andy Warhol made his masterpiece!
Roy Lichtenstein, pop artist, was born in New York in 1923. He was a famous American painter and sculptor. He was known for his comic figures and images from advertisements. In 1960 he had his own first single-artist exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City.
Lichtenstein earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Ohio State University, which he attended from 1941 to 1943. However, he completed university studies post-war at the Cleveland Institute of Art after being drafted into the army. The war years proved to be influential later on in his artistic style. According to Lichtenstein, “One day I painted a picture of a gun and then a few days later I shot at a Japanese plane with a real gun and it made the same sound – pow! And right away I knew what I wanted to do.”
Lichtenstein served as an art instructor at several duty stations; at the Army Air Corps base near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; at the Naval Air Station in Hawaii; and back in the US at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio and Laredo Air Force Base in Texas. After returning from military service, Lichtenstein moved back to Manhattan, where he took classes at night at the Art Students League