Pow, Pop, Wham, Bam! Lichtenstein and Bubble Wrap

A New Yorker born in 1923, Roy Lichtenstein is well known for his paintings and prints that look like comics. His comic strip cartoons are easily recognized as well as his pop art paintings of everyday objects. To give them the feel of the funny pages, Lichtenstein used small dots using four colors of printers’ inks. Did you know these little dots have a name?

Printers would use small dots of color to print comics in the 1950s, to create shades and colors inexpensively. These were called Ben-Day dots, named for Benjamin Day, a printer in the 1800s.  Lichtenstein used Ben Day dots.

Ready to create some art in the style of Roy Lichtenstein? I made this fun piece using an old vinyl banner. You know that kind that hangs up at school carnivals advertising cola drinks, or promo signs for events? These make fantastic surfaces, and you can paint, cut, color to your heart’s content! So I recycled a local event banner by turning it over and priming the backside with white interior house paint. When dry, I used a black permanent marker to draw out the word POW with exploded lines around it, then got ready to have some fun, Lichtenstein style!

Grab these supplies:

Paint sticks (we love the Kwik Sticks for this!), stacking blocks of different sizes and shapes, bubble wrap, black & white acrylic paint, palette (grab a styrofoam plate)

Mix 2 parts white and one part black paint to mix a grey. Dip the bubble side of the bubble wrap into the paint, wetting the individual bubbles with paint.

Try to keep bubble wrap flat and tap the top to spread the paint evenly across bubble wrap

Lay the bubble wrap paint side down onto the picture, tapping the top to push the paint onto the vinyl canvas. Continue around the canvas, adding the dots that are

Make a spot of black paint on your palette, then dip the raised end of the block into the black paint. Use to make dots (like the benday dots)

Want to find more art by Roy Lichtenstein? Although most pieces you will see are paintings, he also made many types of art including sculpture, murals, prints and ceramics. So lots to look at, discover and learn!

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