Reading Time: 5 minutes

Let’s talk about all things Pop Art! So, what is it and why is it so popular? Pop Art is a stylized interpretation of popular mainstream culture. This refers to art that has themes that relate directly to the now. Think about what trends you may see on social media, advertising, fashion, current affairs, and celebrities. Art that is about those things is known as Pop Art.  

The most famous artists and creators of the movement are Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Although Pop Art is much more than what you see in art, it is found in writing, film, and photography!    

So what are the key features of Pop Art?   

Subject Matter

The most important feature of Pop Art is the subject matter. Typical subjects are products, celebrities, or cultural icons which are currently mainstream. Themes include consumerism, irony, and satire. A great example of irony and satire would be the subject of the “Meme”. Examples of great Pop Art subjects would be the Iphone13, Kim Kardashian, the “Condescending Willy Wonka” meme, or our very own “Chromacryl” paint tube.

Subjects can include text in the form of speech bubbles or to be more contemporary, you could use the meme font.

The Marilyn Diptych (1962) Andy Warhol
The Marilyn Diptych (1962) Andy Warhol

Color Choice

Inspired by comic books and advertisements, Pop Art will often use bold, bright colors. For a more classic feel use the color palette of the original Marvel or DC comics. If you would prefer a more contemporary feel, use any color scheme but keep the colors bright and highly saturated.  

Marvel Comic Strip
Marvel Comic Strip

Style

There are many styles that fall under the category of Pop Art. Pop Art style can include bold black outlines that resemble those of a comic book. Crisp blocks of colors in simplified shapes and commonly used. “Ben-Day Dots” is probably the most recognizable style feature.   

Ben Day Dots used by Roy Lichtenstein
Ben Day Dots used by Roy Lichtenstein

Painting Project

Materials:

  • Chromacryl Students’ Acrylic 75ml set of 10
  • Stretched Canvas (20cm x 20cm) x 4
  • Size 3 Round Brush
  • Size 10 Flat Brush
  • Palette
  • Jar of Water
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • A4 Paper

Time: 60min

Difficulty: Easy

Step One:

Brainstorm what your artwork is going to be about, in other words, choose your subject matter. In this case, we have chosen our favorite Chromacryl Acrylic Paint! This fits perfectly as it’s a wonderful product and makes the ideal base for our pop art artwork. Once you have chosen your subject create a quick sketch to work out the composition and style. Will there be text? Will it look like a meme/comic/ad/collage? 

Step Two:

Using light pressure with your pencil, draw your design onto the canvas. Ensure that there is a little graphite as possible transferred to the canvas. Just enough to see the outline and to use it as a guide for your painting.  

Step Three:

Plan your color scheme. Are you wanting a more classic comic book feeling? Or maybe you are going to use a popular color scheme in today’s fashion or interiors, Pantone’s colour of the year is a great option. Think about which color will be best for the background, foreground, and highlights. Create and mix color swatches to help this process.  

We are going to use on-trend colors: Blush, Lilac, Turquoise, and Teal. 

Blush: White 90% + Warm Red 9% + Warm Blue 1% 

Lilac: White 80% + Cool Red 10% + Cool Blue 10% 

Turquoise: White 70% + Cool Blue 20% + Cool Yellow 10% 

Teal: Cool Blue 70 % + Cool Yellow 30% 

Step Four:

Using large blocks of solid color, paint in all parts of the artwork and let dry.  

Step Five:

Using a small round brush, apply Black to outline shapes. To add a comic book feeling think about adding dramatic lines and filling in shadow areas with solid black. 

Step Six:

Using the back of the paintbrush press on dots in White or a contrasting color to areas you would like to add details. Be sure to keep your dots even and straight. Let dry. 

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