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How To Draw Abstract Pop Art

Updated on October 15, 2012

 Pop art began in Britain in the mid 1950s, and spread to the USA later that decade.  It took its themes from popular culture, such as comic books and advertising,  and mass production, using mundane objects. 

Probably the most famous pop artist is Andy Warhol, with his iconic pieces depicting Campbel's soup and Marilyn Monroe.

The style which set out  to parody the banal and kitsch within popular culture is often typified by bright colours and bold designs.

How To Draw Abstract Pop Art

Psychedelic Witch - a finished greetings card on Zazzle
Psychedelic Witch - a finished greetings card on Zazzle

 When beginning a piece of pop art, it's important to use an easily identifiable theme, so for this piece I chose the pentangle, or pentagram, which is easily recognisable and is often identified as a Pagan symbol.

Background Paint Daler Rowney 544

As I wanted the colours to be bold and fairly smooth, without obvious brushstrokes, I chose to work in artists acrylic paints. These provide strong pigments, similar to oil paints, but they are water soluble and have a quick drying time, like water colours, so you don't have to wait days for successive coats of paint to dry.

However, as I wanted to scan the finished piece into the computer so that I could upload it on to (click here to view more of my art) I chose to work with paper suitable for acrylic paint, rather than canvas; using a medium weight Daler Rowney Acrylic Paper.

The Addition of Daler Rowney Jet Black

I set out to use a repeating Pentagram design, but wanted some variation, so used four different sizes of Pentagram in a random pattern.

I'm sure I could have designed this and done it all on the computer, but call me perverse, I actually get pleasure out of drawing things by hand, and spending two weeks completing the finished piece.

The background needed to be as bright as possible, so I chose a fluorescent red acrylic paint (Daler Rowney 544).  Daler Rowney has a really good range of fluorescent colours - there's a fluorescent green I'm itching to use somewhere!

However, when I repeat the design (see later), I will use a standard bright red, as my scanner just couldn't cope with the fluorescence, which came out off-white!

Addition of Daler Rowney Violet Acrylic Paint

The design is now ready to upload for use elsewhere, with the addition of text etc.
The design is now ready to upload for use elsewhere, with the addition of text etc.

The background took several layers of paint, before I was satisfied that the intensity of colour was just right.

I then painted random Pentagrams jet black, and the remaining ones violet. The black required only one coat of paint, but the violet required two in order to obtain the intense colour.

 I mentioned earlier that I will be repeating this piece of work.  This is because I wish to create some fabric in this design.  However, what I forgot when drawing this the first time round is that in order to fill a piece of fabric, the design must be repeated, so the Pentagrams at both edges must be continuations of each other, so that they match when placed side by side, as must the top and bottom.  Never mind, I can spend another enjoyable fortnight drawing this piece all over again.

Gimp Pop Art Tutorial

 As I was unable to scan the finished work it was photographed and uploaded that way instead.

I have plans for several more pop art pieces over the coming weeks, although they may not all have hubs written about them. 

This finished item, called Psychedelic Witch was used to create, posters, Keds shoes, bumper stickers, buttons, magnets, mousepads and greetings cards on Zazzle, so one design can go a long way!


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    • Georgina_writes profile image

      Georgina_writes 7 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thank you for your unkind comment nancy_30

    • profile image

      nancy_30 7 years ago

      it sucks.

    • Georgina_writes profile image

      Georgina_writes 8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thank you nancy_30. i've more pop art planned, so watch this space. My next project is going to be an experiment with wet on wet painting, which everyone's raving about at the minute. There's a hill nearby, where Cromwell rallied his troops, and it's ripe for a painting. Also, I have a commission pending, so maybe I'll hub about that as I'm working through it (another oil painting).

    • nancy_30 profile image

      nancy_30 8 years ago from Georgia

      I enjoyed reading this. You did a really great job of explaining the process. I loved your finished product and the name.

    • Georgina_writes profile image

      Georgina_writes 8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thanks JannyC and Sage. I just enjoy painting and drawing, and if I can get others interested too, then that's great.

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 8 years ago

      Very interesting, well written and informative hub. You have done an amazing job in explaining the process.

      Great Job!


    • JannyC profile image

      JannyC 8 years ago

      Nice hub very interesting and fun. Makes it seem so simple and easy.

    • Georgina_writes profile image

      Georgina_writes 8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thanks you all for your positive comments.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

      What an interesting hub. You explained the process very well. Thanks.

    • Leah Oviedo profile image

      Leah Oviedo 8 years ago from Encinitas, CA

      LOL! This was very enjoyable. Thanks Georgina!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      What a fun hub, I love this pop art, thank you so much for sharing this with are great.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      That last was fascinating. Thank you very much to take us into your confidence. I was great learning.