Steal Some Pop Art Ideas to Make Your Drawings Go "POP!"

Andy Warhol's soup cans, Roy Lichtenstein's cartoon panels, David Hockney's swimming pools — meet the icons of Pop art! Pop art elevates everyday objects in a bright, fun and bold visual style that, well, pops.

If you feel like your creativity needs a little "KERPOW!" of energy, you may want to borrow ideas from Pop art. All you need is a basic understanding of its mission: celebrating our daily lives in a vibrant, vivid way.

Here are two ways to kick things off with a BAM!

Draw Pop Art Words

1. Make Block or Bubble Letters

Draw a word — let's say "POP!" — in block or bubble type. Then enclose your word in a eye-catching shape, like an uneven starburst or a flashy cloud.

2. Add Color

Using whatever medium you prefer (even crayons!), color the word. Pick a striking hue ( primary colors were Pop artists' fave) or shade in the letters with black ink or pencil.

3. Get Rid of That White Space

Fill in the space behind the text bubble with a simple pattern — dots, small stars, stripes or chevrons. Pick a contrasting color that's as bold as the one you used for your word. Or divide the background into a couple of patterns, as the illustration shows.

Easy, right? Basically, you've reduced your image — in this case, your word — to its simplest form and used colors and patterns to make it burst off the page. Now that you've got the hang of the style, you're ready for the next challenge.

Draw Objects Like a Pop Artist

1. Pick Something Simple 

Choose something common, like a jam jar. Using a Sharpie or very dark ink, draw the jar with simple, thick lines.

2. Add Color and Patterns

Now for the fun part: picking a color and pattern to make your jam jar leap off the page. There are four different ways to do this.

You can opt for black and white — even without color, your image can still pop. Color in the jar using black ink, and then create a series of eye-catching patterns to fill in the rest of the space. This is what you did with your word, just without color.

Or you can take a technicolor route. Pick a lively color and use a super-saturated version of it. Paint markers can give you the look you want.

Another option: primary colors. Channel Roy Lichtenstein and use a combination of color blocks and patterns to add bold designs to your jam jar. Use paint, markers or even pastels. Just make it lively!

Another take on pop art is playing with lines. Inspired by Andy Warhol, this simple image features mirror images of the jam jar in bright pink and in blue, each slightly off-center like a 3D image sans the special glasses. The off-kilter repetition gives the jam jar a new look — and a different meaning. 

Which, come to think of it, is the essence of Pop art.

Photos by Jessie Olson Moore

January 17, 2019
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Steal Some Pop Art Ideas to Make Your Drawings Go "POP!"