Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer Art Camp - Pop Art

Romero Britto,  "Good Friends"  2007

Inspiration for this past weeks summer art camp came from the Pop Art movement and some of the artists associated with this form of art.  The summer camp  artists learned a little art history and were introduced to a few major Pop Art players, such as Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein and Romero Britto.  

Claes Oldenburg was a Swedish born American artist best known for his large scale public art sculptures featuring everyday objects.

Papier Mache
Candy Sculptures

The artists were shown a few of Claes Oldenburg's food sculptures, including "Spoonbridge and Cherry".  I had narrowed down the overall theme for this project to candy bars.  The artists chose their favorite sweet treat which they shaped into a sculptural form with cut pieces of cereal box cardboard, tape and newspaper.

Once the structure was built, the artists applied papier mache, using torn pieces of newspaper and bowls filled with starch. ~ I find starch much easier, and less messy to work with than other forms of papier mache paste. ~  Once the forms were thoroughly covered, the artists set them aside to dry.

The boxes took a 1 1/2 to 2 days to dry.  Afterwards, the artists coated their structures with white primer, let that dry, then sketched and painted their forms to look like their favorite sweet.  The candy sculptures were completed on the last day of camp, at the final hour, therefore I don't have images of their finished pieces - but they turned out fabulous!

Roy Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein produced a form of Pop Art influenced by popular advertisements and the comic book style, featuring thick outlines, bold colors and organized dots of color.

Roy Lichtenstein,  Ohh...Alright, 1964

Portrait Plates

After a little lesson on the comic book style of Roy Lichtenstein the artists drew portraits of themselves onto a bisque plate, added speech bubbles and painted the plates in primary colors favored by Lichtenstein.

The plates, with their humorous speech bubbles, were a great way to incorporate pop art portraits into a functional piece of art.

Brazilian born artist, Romero Britto, uses clean, bold and colorful imagery to deliver fresh and upbeat messages within his work that reflects his optimistic faith in the world around him.

Pop Art Portraits

For this project the artists were shown images from one of my favorite artists, Romero Britto.  We discussed his whimsical work and the elements of art used within each of his paintings including color, line, texture and movement.

The artists then drew a portrait of themselves, with reference to Britto's style, onto a 16 x 20 inch canvas and outlined their delightful drawings with a thick black sharpie.

Their paint palettes were filled with bright acrylic colors which were carefully applied to the patterns and shapes that filled their canvas.

The end result were glorious portrait paintings filled with color, pattern and a youthful sense of whimsical fun.  The artists learned a bit of history and went home with new techniques for creating future works of art.  Most importantly, there were huge smiles on the faces of the proud artists - which, for me, equals a most successful week.


  1. Kathy from MarylandJuly 18, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Great Camp! My art camp starts next week and we are doing the same Pop Art theme. Fun to see how some of your kids' works turned out. I love the Romero Britto-inspired works especially! We are going to try and make Britto-style clocks out of old vinyl records. Yikes!! Hope it turns out okay. Keep up the great work with those talented kids. :)

  2. Kathy - Thanks for your comment. The Romero Britto record clocks sounds like a cool idea - I'd love to see how those turn out.


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