Andy Warhol Picture Effects

by Nora Zavalczki
Series entitled

Series entitled "Cow" using the silk-screening effect.

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Andy Warhol (1928-1987), the son of Czechoslovakian immigrants who came to America, is best known as an icon of Pop Art and an influential character of the past century, being a painter, sculptor and filmmaker. He experimented with several art techniques and perfected his own working technique, creating unusual effects and memorable pieces of artwork that described trivial or even vulgar subjects.

The Blotted Line Effect

The blotted line effect is obtained by mixing drawing and printing. The artist created numerous compositions using this effect in the 1950s, including the famous drawing entitled "The French Line." Warhol obtained the effect by copying the lines of a drawing onto a piece of tracing paper. He would place ink on certain parts of the lines and tape a piece of absorbent paper on the initial drawing. The drawing would transfer onto the absorbent paper. The effects on the absorbent paper would be a dotted, more vibrating line. Warhol was able to create several versions of the same line drawing, each being slightly different, depending on the color and amount of ink used and how the second paper absorbed the ink.

The Silk-Screening Effect

Andy Warhol used silk-screening extensively to replicate and multiply images; he wanted to produce art as a mass-consumable process. Warhol performed the silk-screening effect by enlarging a photograph and making a stencil. The artist glued the stencil to silk, which was used as a screen over the canvas. The silk was applied on the canvas and Warhol would spread inks of different colors over the silk. The silk allowed the ink to leave traces on the canvas, while the glue portions remained uncolored. The effects would vary according to the inks and the amount of glue used. Warhol created his Marilyn canvases and several other famous paintings using this technique.

Glowing Splatter Effects

Less famous than the soup cans or the Elvis paintings, the "Oxidation Paintings" were created using the artist's urine and acrylic. The glowing splatter effects were created by using copper glaze on the paintings, which reacted with the acid in the urine. The copper contrasted with the dark acrylic backgrounds, giving the paintings visual strength. The series of paintings was created partly as an homage, partly as an insult to Jackson Pollock and the abstract expressionist movement.

The Golden Leaf Effect

Andy Warhol used various materials in his paintings, including golden leaf foil. Golden foil was commonly used to decorate art objects, including frames and Eastern Christian icons. The artist used this material in paintings, collages or mixed media prints he used to create using the blotted-line technique. Applying golden leaf foil involves applying an adhesive on the painting or drawing, placing the foil on the painting and removing the particles that wouldn't stick to the painting using a stiff brush. The golden leaf gave a bright, vibrant finish to the works. The foil leafing effects are visible in works such as the "Golden Cat" or "Untitled (Gold Shoe With Flower Bouquet)."

Photo Credits

  • Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images