Friday, June 28, 2013

Pop art portrait

A happy Hello to you! Here comes a not so easy but totally worth it project.

 I have always loved these black and white pop art paintings of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe you can see pretty much everywhere (or at least at your local Ikea). The reduction to the essentials that really shows the characteristic features. The monochromatic palette that does not distract from the faces. Wow.

But I did not want someone I do not know personally looking at me from a one by one meter canvas. Then, when I visited a friend of mine, I saw that her flatmate had a selfmade pop art painting of her sister. It was gorgeous. So I decided to give it a try, too.

1. First thing is getting a pretty photo. I chose one of my cousin. (As she is a minor, I will not show it online).
2. I did the conversion into pop art black and white by myself, but you could also use a (free) program like pixlr (pixlr advanced). Open your photo, and go to filter: art poster. And voil√°, you have a black and white pop art picture.

If you want to do the conversion all by yourself, get a picture with good contrast.  Think about which parts should be dark and which could be light. I looked up a couple pop art pictures online and studied the details. Compared to these I figuered the eyes and lips should have some more detail to show my cousin´s expression. And I really had to show her cute dimple!

I had to do two drawings, and I actually sketched the mouth on a different piece of paper to get it just right. I simplified the sweater to give the picture a more solid base.

3. Now start painting. I used black acrylic paint. If you mess up, just cover your mistake with white paint. As long as you don´t do that too often it will be ok. I had to redo the left eye a couple of times and unfortunalty, that shows, but the rest of my cover-ups aren´t too noticable.

If you are dreading this part, consider simplifying the details, especially eyes and mouth. You might also print your picture twice, cut out one head and trace it to get the outer proportions of the head just right.

If you love these pop art pictures as much as I do, give it a try. I adore my picture, even though it is not perfect!

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