Andy Warhol, fka Andrew Warhola, was an American artist in the 60’s. He was the best known for his flamboyant character and was considered to be a leading figure for the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explored the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising, but he was also involved in silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture.
Originally from Pittsburg, Warhol worked in the advertising business as a commercial illustrator. After some of his exhibitions he started to gain recognition as an influential and controversial artist. His New York studio, The Factory, became a very popular gathering place for intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons. Warhol is also credited with coining the widely used expression 15 minutes of fame. In the late 60’s he managed and produced the experimental rock bang The Velvet Underground and founded Interview magazine. He lived openly as a gay man before the gay liberation movement.
Andy Warhol has a whole museum dedicated to him in his native city Pittsburg. Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable, the highest price ever paid of a Warhol painting is $105 million for a 1963 canvas titles Silver Car Crash (double disaster).
Warhol was known for his silkscreening art, so I decided to do some research on how to do it. Appears that anyone can do this at home. Here’s a short tutorial:
- Screen and Frame, purchased either separately or together.
- Photo emulsion and sensitizer.
- A 250 watt bulb
- Latex gloves and apron
- A pitch black room
- A piece of cloth you want to silkscreen
- Silk screen fabric ink
- Small piece of cardboard to put under the cloth
Step 1: Design Your Image
Try not to do anything too detailed for your first try, since it will take some practice to actually get it right. A simple silhouette should do.
Step 2: Coat the Screen in Emulsion
Mix the sensitizer and emulsion, cover the screen with this mixture evenly and leave it in a pitch dark room to try. This will take some time.
Step 3: Expose the Image on the Screen
Without turning on the lights, lay down the screen and frame with the screen side down on top of a black surface. Then lay the transparency down with scotch tape and move your lamp close to the screen. Aim the light bulb at the transparency and leave the room. Do not turn on any other lights, and in about 15 minutes carefully pull up the transparency.
Step 4: Clean the Screen
Spray your screen down with some water, though not too much pressure. The part where your image is will start to flake off, once it’s completely clear stop spraying it. Cover any exposed parts of the screen where there’s no photo emulsion or the image with tape.
Step 5: Print
Put the cloth you want to print on a cardboard to protect the other side (so stuff the cardboard in the shirt) and lay the screen on the part of the shirt you want to design. Pour some ink on the screen and using your squeegee run the ink up, down, left, and right a couple of times to push the ink through onto the cloth. Pull up the screen, remove the cardboard, and voila! That should be good.
Step 6: Longevity
To make sure that the image stays printed on for a while, throw in the cloth in the over on 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 seconds. That should dry out the paint completely and ensure longevity.
Step 7: Clean up!
Make sure to clean the screen as soon as you’re done designing it, or it will stick to it forever.
If you end up doing this please feel free to email me your results! I’m very interested in how it will turn out.
Thank you to Lifehacker for posting the tutorial according to which I made my shirt (which I will not post since it came out a disaster).
It’s one of my life goals to own a Campbell’s Soup silkscreening by Warhol, so being a huge fan of his art I decide to create a parody of my own. The sizes of the frames in this painting are identical to the originals, that was the only part that I sketched out before starting to paint.
This painting was done on a 80x100cm repainted canvas, meaning there’s a different painting under the white paint. I used oil paint for this particular piece, and the background literally took 3 1/2 weeks to dry. You can imagine my frustration since I was very enthused about this painting. My piece was based on these silkscreens as seen below, I’d also like to add that these art pieces sell for $11.7 million.
In my defense, first of all, I’ve never taken any art classes in my life, so being a self-taught artist I do adore my own work. Of course I understand that it’s far from perfect, and even farther from what I wanted it to look like I’m still proud of it. Second of all, being away from my easel and paint for 5 years kept me away from painting for a while. Last time I painted something was probably 3-4 years ago, so I’m also a little rusty. Third of all, all of the brushes that I own are stiff and dried out, meaning I had to work with veeeery old and bad material, but I was also too broke and lazy to buy anything new.
After sketching out the frames, I decided to just wing it with the rest of it. I started with the red. This is what this piece looked like for about 3 days before it completely dried.
Then after adding some details and drawing the frames, I realized that it looked too plain. So I decided to put a twist on it, and changed up some frames and soup cans. It’s not noticeable in the pictures here but each of the can has a letter from my full name in the yellow circle. So basically this painting spells ELENE BERIDZE. I was pleasantly surprised how that happened without me actually planning for it.
All of the cans look 2D in this piece, since my brushes were too stiff actually create a good curve. The hardest part was actually writing the type of soup it was, so I had to improvise and make it look fun, if you look closer you’ll see that some of the soups say “Chikin Soup” or “Beefy” and “Porky”.
Everyone’s favorite can is the one that’s pouring out of the frame in the bottom left corner. Makes sense, since it’s the only one that looks like it has volume. The colors were pretty on point, but to add some zaz to this piece I decided to make one of the cans green, in the end it just came out looking sloppy. One of the cans also had angel wings but I decided to scratch it off cause it just looked cheesy.
I’m not crazy about my work, but I’m still proud of it. I hung it up in my bedroom and it’s the first thing I look at when I wake up. I’m using it as inspiration to keep working harder so I can actually create what I want at some point.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and my painting. See you in two days!