Andy Warhol was a leading figure in the Pop Art movement. His artistic exploration of pop culture produced mixed media series featuring icons of the day, from Marilyn Monroe to Campbell’s Soup cans. For our latest project in the Art History for Preschool series, the girls (ages 4 and 2) were easily inspired by his vibrant variations on Marilyn. For our preschool version of pop art, I asked the girls who their favorite stars were and used these as the basis of our Warhol-inspired process art.
Pop Culture Process Art
We started our exploration of Andy Warhol and Pop Art by reading his overview in what has easily become my favorite Art Book, The Art Book for Children. It is a two book series, and Warhol is featured in Book One.
To create our Warhol-inspired process art, we only used two basic supplies, along with our book for reference.
Preschool Pop Icon printables
Crayola Oil Pastels
Cost: Less than $5
Prep Time: Less than 15 minutes (to take and print photos)
Clean-Up Time: Less than 5 minutes
Preschool Pop Icons
While Marilyn may have been the pop icon of the early 1960s, the stars of my preschooler and toddler’s world are their favorite PBS and Nick Jr. characters. So they rounded up some of their favorite pop icons – Elmo, Cookie Monster, Daniel Tiger and Bubble Puppy – for me to photograph. I printed them in black and white, with a few fun filters layered on for effect, to create our pop icon reproductions.
Use your own photos, or download our Preschool Pop Icon printable, featuring the girls’ favorites. All our printables are instantly available to our weekly newsletter subscribers upon confirmation of your subscription.
Pastels for Pop
To give our cultural icons vibrant color that really pops against the black and white image, the girls used Crayola oil pastels. It took a little convincing for Big M (age 4), my rules stickler, to give her precious Tigey anything other than his traditional red sweater, but after referencing Warhol’s variations on Marilyn again, she gave it a shot, and was eager to show me each new color combination.
Lil’ M (age 2), my free spirit, had no problem adding vibrant color to all her favorite characters.
And a true sign of successful process art? They didn’t want to stop!
They colored away while I fed the baby, got dinner on the table, and only stopped because they ran out of images… they chatted all through dinner about how I should take pictures of all of Daniel Tiger’s friends for them to color too. And this morning at breakfast, Big M asked if she could do Sophia too! Love the enthusiasm.
Be sure to keep some wipes nearby – pastels produce vibrant color, but can also leave small hands (and the table) a bit messy, and you wouldn’t want a pastel hand print on your wall.
We are nearing the end of our planned posts for the Art History for Preschool series, with just two more left before the end of 2015. I’m sure we will occasionally add one more here and there. You can find all the posts to date on our landing page, including popular favorites: Elmer Meets Kandinsky and Painting with Scissors. All of these also appear on our Art for Kids board on Pinterest, along with hundreds more from our favorite kids’ activity bloggers.
Stay tuned for our next series, launching in 2016: Architecture and Engineering for Preschool – More than Just Block Towers!