Today we’re going to explore a pop art for kids project inspired by Andy Warhol.
Andy Warhol was an American artist who was a leading figure in the art movement known as pop art.
His art explored many different media including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music.
The paintings for today’s inspiration are from his Flowers series.
Warhol did get into a bit of trouble with the flower images he used for his paintings. He borrowed the image from a photograph that was printed in a photography magazine in 1964. They settled their disagreement in 1966 and after that, he only based his art on photographs he took himself.
Andy Warhol’s art studio in New York City was called The Factory.
Many times his flower paintings were displayed in large groupings.
Andy Warhol, Flowers, 1964.
© 2012 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
We’re going to create our own mini-Warhol panel of flowers with a nice easy DIY screen printing technique.
The supplies needed for this project are:
- A Square Canvas or Canvas Board (we used an 18” square canvas)
- Palette or plate to mix paint
- Contact Paper
- Rubber Cement
- Masking Tape
- Screen Printing Ink (red/blue/yellow/white/black) this paint is best, but you could also use acrylic paint
- Old Pantyhose
- Embroidery Hoop (a size that would fit nicely in ¼ of your canvas)
- X-Acto Knife
First, we’ll need to section our canvas into 4 even squares using our masking tape.
Then mix 4 colors of your choice and paint each square. I chose some colors influenced by the colors in our inspiration piece.
Set aside the canvas to dry and create your screen.
Use your embroidery hoop to trace a circle the size of the inside hoop on the contact paper and cut it out.
To make the screen, you’ll need to remove a large section of one of the pantyhose legs.
Slide the inner hoop of your embroidery hoop into the pantyhose leg and reattach the outer hoop. Tighten the hoops together and gently pull the nylon as tight as you can on one side of the hoop being careful not to cause tears or runs.
Once you have a tight screen, carefully cut the nylon from the loose side of the hoop. Be careful not to cut it too close to the hoop or it may pull through.
Next, print the single flower painting just the right size to fit all the flowers on the inside of your hoop. Tape the contact paper on a piece of cardboard (or cutting surface) and tape the flower print on top. Simply cut through the paper and contact paper to create your screen template.
The contact paper will prevent the ink (paint) from printing anywhere but the flower shapes.
Now back to our canvas. We’re going to use rubber cement to create our textured background.
Use the rubber cement brush and paint various brushstrokes over each color. It may be hard to see where the cement is going since its clear so just tip it toward a light to see if you’ve covered the area enough.
IMPORTANT: SET YOUR CANVAS ASIDE AND LET THE RUBBER CEMENT DRY THOROUGHLY BEFORE THE NEXT STEP.
I learned the hard way what happens when you don’t. 😉 When you apply the next layer of paint, if the cement is not dry it actually lifts the base color from the canvas.
Once the cement is completely dry to the touch (it will feel sticky, but not wet), thin some of your black ink/paint with water and brush over the colored panels. You’ll see the cement resists the paint.
Allow this layer to dry as well and then gently rub to remove your rubber cement.
Look at the cool textures you’ve created!!
Now it’s time to screen print!
Use an old gift card or credit card to apply the paint in a thin layer across your screen. Use a different color of paint for each flower or make them all the same, it’s up to you.
If you find the card is too big, just cut another one in half for a smaller applicator as well.
Carefully rinse your screen after each panel and lightly pat it dry by laying it on a layer of paper towels and patting it dry with another. If you find your contact paper is lifting just carefully smooth it back out. It will still work just fine even if it’s not sticking perfectly.
FOR BEST RESULTS:
ALWAYS PULL YOUR PAINT FROM OUTSIDE THE DESIGN TOWARD THE MIDDLE TO PREVENT PAINT FROM LEAKING UNDER YOUR TEMPLATE.
Repeat the screen printing process until you’ll filled each panel.
To create the details on the inside of the flowers, use the plastic end of your paint brush to remove some of the paint to let the layer underneath show through.
Allow your prints to dry thoroughly and remove the masking tape.
Voila! A little Warhol inspired artwork to bring a little color to any wall in your home.