Sunday, November 13, 2016

Andy Warhol/Digital Portraits// Digital Photography

Andy Warhol/Digital Portraits

Title: Andy Warhol/Digital Portraits// Digital Photography

Objective: Students will be introduced to the life and art of Andy Warhol as a way of considering photography as a self-portrait medium. After viewing and discussing other artists’ photographic self-portraits, students will create their own digitally manipulated photos of themselves, family members, or pets.

How do you think this self-portrait was made?
Why do you think he included four images of himself rather than one?

Essential Questions: What do you want to communicate about yourself or whoever the portrait is of?

National Art Standards
Anchor Standard 3: Refine and complete  artistic work.
Anchor Standard 7: Perceive and analyze artistic work.
Anchor Standard 9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.


  • Smart Board or computer with ability to project images from slideshow
  • Student photograph
  • Computers equipped with digital-imaging software such as Adobe Photoshop
Andy Warhol became fabulously famous for his 1960s pop art. He produced big, bold images of the popular, the famous, and the stuff of our consumer society. His multi-image portraits of famous people—Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Jacqueline Kennedy—and of common products—Campbell's soup cans, Coca Cola bottles—are among the most powerful icons of twentieth-century American art.
Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola, the son of Czechoslovakian immigrants, in 1928. He grew up poor (during the Depression) outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his parents and two brothers. As a child, Warhol (he later dropped the final "a") recalled having a few friends but also feeling "left out." He suffered briefly from a nervous disorder that caused muscle spasms and kept him isolated. He liked spending time on his own, coloring, taking snapshots with a small camera, and even making films with a movie camera given to him by his mother.
After graduating in art from Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1949, he moved to New York City, where he would have quick success as a commercial artist. He designed window displays, illustrated magazine articles, and drew record album jackets. In the 1960s, Warhol decided to abandon commercial art to focus on making serious visual art. While he hand-painted his first works, he soon developed a silk-screen process that allowed his staff of assistants to mass-produce the startling images of consumer products and brilliant movie star portraits. These works took the art world and the public by storm. In this self-portrait, he used four photographic images of himself (with his trademark “shocked” hair) and silk-screened them, off-kilter, onto a 6-foot square canvas. The result is four big heads, set in supercharged pink and yellow against a glossy, dense black background. The effect is intense and unsettling. He was also a pioneer in computer-generated art using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1984
  1. To make a self-portrait, first upload their photograph into the computer. If you have a digital camera, you can transfer your photos directly to the computer.
  2. Once students have their photo entered into the computer, they can use digital-imaging software such as Adobe Photoshop to applying color and/or special effects.
  3. Start with the crop tool to eliminate any areas of the photo they don't want to keep. They can also play with the size and rotation of their image.
  4. Explain that each students should create 3 to 8 different varieties of effects and keeping 1 original then lay the images out in a grid.
  5. Teach them how to create new layers, label them and copy and paste their photo into each one.
  6. Create margin lines to divide up their grid.
  7. Next, have them experiment with paint tools, filters, color levels, and any other editing tools available. They could even add text and original graphics to their picture, or copy and paste multiple images of themselves.
  8. As students manipulate their digital image, have them consider what they want to communicate about themselves. What will the viewer who examines their self-portrait learn about them?
What is the overall feeling and emotion you perceive when looking at the art?
Does the use of color enhance the composition?
Do all the different filters used create a balanced composition?
How did Andy Warhol influence your artwork?

Computer Directions:

  1. Open up Adobe Photoshop New file
    1. US Paper, Letter, size 8.5 X11 inches, 300 Pixels per inch DPI
  2. Open up your downloaded portrait. Crop using the Marquee tool to eliminate any areas of the photo they don't want to keep, Image (top bar) Crop.
  3. Image (top bar) resize image to make it bigger or smaller using the Percent option until it is a good size for your Pop Art lesson
  4. Ctrl A (select all), Ctrl C (copy), then go to the new document and Ctrl V (paste).
  5. If too big or too small Ctrl Z (undo)
  6. Return to portrait photo and resize again, repeat steps
  7. View (top bar) Rulers
  8. Click and drag blue guidelines from side and top to find the middle of your page
  9. Once you are happy with the image size. Ctrl V (paste) however many images you want either 4, 6, or 9
  10. Move the different layers with the ARROW tool, use the eyes in the layers to figure out which layer is active.
  11. Use the filter tools to change the images so that each image has a different effect or use other options in the Layer (top bar)  to change the color balance, brightness, contrast, invert, etc
  12. Ctrl + Z (Undo) or the History window (top bar view and click History if the window is not open already) to undo anything.

Save As - Photoshop PSD file (save layers)
Flattened files: PDF (for Adobe Reader)
  JPG (image no layers
  TIFF (usually for websites, no layers)

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