Lichtenstein Inspired Mixed Media Portraits


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Presentation from 2013 IAEA Conference by Carissa Zill

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Lichtenstein Inspired Mixed Media Portraits

  1. 1. WELCOME TO ROY LICHTENSTEIN INSPIRED MIXED MEDIA PORTRAITS!  If you brought an iPad, please download the Comic Book Camera app – It’s FREE! If you brought a computer, please download the Comic Life program at They offer a 30 day free trial  WiFi password: Hilton930  We will get started once we get the technology figured out 
  2. 2. MEETING COMMON CORE STANDARDS  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.1 Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. REST ASSURED!  I don’t do a reading or common core integrated activity for every project – more like one per trimester for each grade  It’s not THAT painful for students or teachers and it helps provide more background for students to understand the lesson better. 
  3. 3. FINDING AGE APPROPRIATE TEXTS I spent A LOT of time scouring books and articles to find something about Lichtenstein and Pop Art that is middle school level reading – I even paired with the Reading Specialist for this one!  The best one I found is: Pop Art (Art Revolutions) Hardcover.  by Linda Bolton published in 2000.  This book is out of print, but can be found on Amazon from used book sellers.  I have provided a copy of the reading I used for the “common core” activity. 
  4. 4. READING THE ARTICLE… I read to students the first page and we worked together to brainstorm the main idea.  We came up with something along the lines of “Pop artists created art about everyday objects as a way of celebrating the modern way of life.”  Student’s copied this down on their worksheet.  Then we searched the article for TEXTUAL EVIDENCE that supports this main idea.  I had students copy the actual text and then provide an explanation as to WHY that sentence supports the main idea.  I made them complete 4 (only 3 on their own)  DONE! 
  5. 5. PROVIDING MORE BACKGROUND… Then I show students the following Powerpoint presentation on Roy Lichtenstein.  (I have also shown part of a DVD on Roy SHOWING students his work process, but it depends on time – could be interchangeable with the powerpoint)  I want them to understand:  A. Roy Lichtenstein was deemed a FAILURE before he finally “made it” as an artist  B. Roy Lichtenstein follows a strict process when creating his art – much work takes place before he actually makes the artwork. 
  6. 6. ROY LICHTENSTEIN Pop artist
  7. 7. ROY LICHTENSTEIN Born in 1923  Went to a private school in 8th grade where they offered no art classes  The next year, Roy started taking a watercolor class on Saturday mornings.  After graduating high school Roy went to Ohio State University to study fine arts.  Roy had to leave college early to serve in the army during WWII, but returned after school was done.  After finishing his bachelor’s degree in art, Roy started working on his MFA. 
  8. 8. HISTORY CONTINUED While working on his MFA Roy was hired as an art instructor.  Roy continued working as an instructor while making works in cubist and expressionist styles.  Roy stopped teaching for awhile and started a family and worked on his art. He had to have odd jobs to pay the bills when he wasn’t selling work.  In 1957 Roy moved back to New York and began teaching again. 
  9. 9. BATTLE SCENE, 1948-1949 PASTEL ON PAPER, 19 1/8 X 25 3/16 INCHES
  10. 10. A LADY (NO. 51175), 1975 OIL ON CANVAS; 32 X 24 INCHES
  11. 11. HISTORY CONTINUED Roy converted to the Abstract Expressionist style of painting.  In 1960 he began teaching at Rutgers where he was influenced by fellow teacher and artist Allen Kaprow.  Kaprow is famous for his “happenings” which took life and turned it into art.  While working in his abstract style Roy’s son challenged him that he couldn’t draw as good as that – pointing to a Mickey Mouse Comic Book. 
  12. 12. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! Roy made a painting based on the drawing he did for his son and hung it in his studio.  He was continually drawn to this painting and eventually abandoned all other work and began making these “cartoon” works.  Later he painted every day objects like sneakers, hot dogs, and golf balls. 
  13. 13. DESK CALENDAR, 1962 OIL ON CANVAS 48 ½ X 68 ¼ INCHES
  15. 15. FAILURE! Roy’s new works were heavily criticized and he was considered a TERRIBLE artist.  Despite the criticism Roy continued to paint and his paintings began to gain popularity.  He took inspiration from everyday things such as comic books and made them magnificent and kept the “industrial manufactured” look.  He also joined many art trends in his own way. As abstract expressionists sought to bring art back to being about the paint, Roy made his own paintings of paint. 
  18. 18. SUCCESS! Eventually critics started to enjoy his work and praise Roy as the great artist he is now known as.  Determination and hard work helped Roy become the success that he is. 
  19. 19. DETAIL OF WHAAM!, 1963
  20. 20. DROWNING GIRL, 1963
  21. 21. WHAAM!, 1963
  24. 24. HIS PROCESS He ALWAYS starts with a sketch!  Once he figures out a composition he likes, he colors the sketch so it is all figured out before he gets to the large work.  Roy then uses his actual drawing and projects it on the screen, moving it around on the canvas until he finds it pleasing at the larger scale.  Roy then traces and labels the colors he plans on using.  Then carefully Roy paints. 
  25. 25. YOUR TASK YOU will be the subject of this work of art!  We will be taking a picture of your face (portrait)  Ms. Zill will edit the background out of your photo and put the photos in a folder under TEACHER TEMPLATES – ZILL – in your period!  Using the COMIC LIFE program you will edit your photo to “comicfy” yourself  In COMIC LIFE you will also add several ‘Explosions’ & a phrase to create a Lichtenstein inspired composition 
  26. 26. YOUR TASK CONTINUED We will print out each of the finished compositions.  Using the Photo Enlarger (the big white machine) we will enlarge our images onto the big Bristol board   REMEMBER – YOU GET ONE sheet of bristol board, so if you mess up you have one more chance on the other side and that is it! All the lines will be traced with a black sharpie marker  Using markers and stencils, you will color in your compositions with a variety of Benday dots and solid areas. 
  27. 27. TECHNOLOGY It’s not perfect – since I don’t have access to a class set of ipads OR computers…  I run this project in stations along with screenprinting t-shirts and students rotate through the different steps and projects.  I have a small opaque projector I use to have kids trace their compositions, and I use my classroom projector – again, must keep kids running through stations.  YOU COULD HAVE THEM DRAW FROM THE DIGITAL WORK IF YOU WANT… 
  28. 28. FINISHING THE PROJECT… I have students trace their compositions  Outline in black sharpie  Fill in a minimum of 2 areas with Ben-Day dots!  Other areas can be solid  Ben-Day dots HAVE to be colored with markers  The rest can be colored with PAINT or Markers!  I double mount projects for the final finishing touch. 
  29. 29. COMIC BOOK CAMERA Advantages: Fast, easy to make compositions  Disadvantages: Not as many options to manipulate. 
  30. 30. COMIC LIFE Advantages: Students can fully play around with creating a digital comic composition. More photo filter options.  Disadvantage: In order to fully appreciate, you have to have a transparent background, which means more teacher work 
  31. 31. YOUR TURN! Using the provided handouts and a little plain old experimentation, let’s try making our own compositions.  I have 2 ipads, and a computer if you need to borrow one.  If you don’t want to take the picture on your computer, you can take one on your phone or the ipad. 