Lesson #2: Choosing Color for Effect

Part of the unit: Creating a Portrait Print |


How can color affect the way we respond to a portrait?
Students will be able to:
Analyze the use of color in Warhol portraits
Select colors for a particular effect
Students will understand that:
Artists use color to express a personal point of view.

Student drawings from lesson 1;  assorted colored markers (similar to the colors of the inks students will be using in their prints). 


Andy Warhol's Self-Portrait on nine canvases (www.moma.org)

Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe (www. webexhibits.org/colorart/marilyn.html#)


Display Warhol's Self-Portrait on nine canvases.  Ask questions such as:

  • Why do you think Warhol chose printmaking as a medium?
  • Why do you think the artist printed nine different color combinations of the same pose?
  • What's your response to seeing the images displayed in a group, rather than individually?
  • Which image do you like the best?  the least?  Why?
  • What is noteworthy about the way Warhol used color?
  • How do the combinations of color affect you?

Project the image of Marilyn Monroe from www.webexhibits.org/colorart/marilyn.htlm#. (click on Color vision and Art, then click on the face of Marilyn Monroe)

  • How is this image similar to the Self-Portrait series we've just seen?
  • Which features of Marilyn Monroe has Warhol chosen to emphasize through the use of color?  Why?

Click on the controls below the image to demonstrate how the image changes when different colors are applied

Point out the original photograph from which Warhol worked. Discuss how Warhol's choice of color changes how you view Marilyn.







Using the teacher drawing from lesson #1, demonstrate how to use four colored markers, ranging from light to dark, to create a color sketch for the reduction print. Some of the shapes should be defined by the white of the paper.

Students will use four colored markers to fill in shapes.  Areas that will be white will be left blank. 

Post student sketches.  Discuss how the choice of color affects the viewer's perception of the stubject. Ask students to share suggestions for strengthening images.


Collaborate with the school librarian to assign students to research Pop Art. 

Write a paragraph in response to this statement:  "Pop Art was easy to understand."  Do you agree?  Explain.