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Art in the Style of Andy Warhol – 3 Ways

Kids love making art in the style of Andy Warhol. This may be because his style is so recognizable, easy to imitate, and just plain fun! For this project, portraits or images of a single object will work best.

Who was Andy Warhol?

Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was an American visual artist and film director / producer. He was one of the best known artists of the Pop Art movement. His most popular work includes paintings, silkscreen prints, photography, films, and sculptures.

Among the most famous of Warhol’s pieces are his paintings of “Campbell’s Soup Cans and his “Marilyn Monroe” silkscreen portraits. These inspired my own AI art piece (above), “Vigo Style 4x”.

For the image above, I used AI to create a digital illustration in the style of Andy Warhol. (Directions for that at the bottom of this post.) But you can achieve this fun effect with readily available classroom supplies, too.

Markers or colored paper can both achieve a similar effect to the image at the top of this post. The key to success is to start with a high contrast black & white photo.

How to Create Your Own Art in the Style of Andy Warhol

1. Choose your subject.

Decide what you’d like your subject to be.

It could be a portrait of a family member, a friend, your pet, or even a self-portrait. Or maybe you’d like your subject to be a flower or an interesting object. It can really be anything as long as it’s not moving and you can capture its essence with a simple photograph.

2. Take a photo of your subject.

Make it a “close-up”! Crop your image so it mostly fills the frame.

3. Convert your photo to a high contrast black + white image.

On an iPhone, you can simply go into the edit screen and use a filter like “Mono” or “Noir” to get a black + white effect. Then, play with increasing the adjustment settings below the photo – like highlights, contrast, brightness, and black point.

If you already have a color photo you want to work with, there are two ways you can convert it to high contrast black + white. You can do this with Photoshop, Canva, or a similar software program. Or, you can simply use a copy machine to copy your color photo. Just use the black + white setting and increase the contrast. And it’s okay if it looks a little grainy!

4. Remove any background around your subject.

You can use Photoshop or Canva to remove your background, or you can print your photos and use scissors to cut the background away later.

5. Make a few copies of your photo.

The art in my illustration uses a grid of 4 images, 2 across and 2 down, but you can use however many images you want for your grid. Just make that many copies!

6. Trim your copies.

If your copies have any background around the subject, you’ll need to cut that away and glue your subject onto white paper (if using markers) or colored paper. If using colored paper, use a different color for the background of each image.

Trim your copies so they are all the same size and lay them out in rows or a grid. (You’ll also need a piece of heavyweight paper big enough to glue everything onto.)

7. Choose your medium.

Colored paper

Colored paper is a great option for adding color to your project. Choose a different color of paper for the backing of each photo.

Cut away the background around your subject and glue each one onto a different colored paper. Use some of the colored paper scraps to add one or two fun details to your b+w subject. Keep it simple and be sure to use a good quality permanent glue stick!


If you removed your background before you printed your images, you’ll have a white background you can add color to. Bright, colorful markers will make your design pop. My personal favorite are these Crayola broad line markers.

The colors are clear and bright. They offer a thin line for details or a broad line for larger areas, depending on how you angle your marker. These markers come in sets of 8, 10, 12, and a classroom pack with 16 colors. I find the non-washable variety to be the most color-fast, but Crayola makes washable markers, too, if you prefer those.

Remind students to fill in large areas by coloring with the broad edge of their marker in one direction only, not back and forth. This will help the colors to look smooth and flat.

8. Glue your images in a grid format onto a larger paper.

The example at the top of this post uses a grid of 2 across and 2 down, but you could use any size grid and number of images you want. Just remember you’ll also need a piece of heavyweight paper big enough to glue them all down on!

Bonus… AI – Text to Art!

For this option, plan to create a few designs, because it’s quick and fun and you won’t want to stop! The success of your results will vary by how well you describe what you want, so it’s a learning opportunity, too.

The world of AI is changing fast, and there are new “text to art” sites popping up all the time. You can find sites that will let you try it a few times for free, without giving them your credit card. Currently, you can go to image.art or openart.ai, start an account, and experiment with free trial credits. When your credits expire, there are other sites with similar offers if you search for them.

For the image above, I used openai’s DALL-E 2 (no longer available) and typed in the prompt, “a Havanese dog wearing sunglasses in the style of an Andy Warhol silkscreen print”. It’s fun to experiment with your own unique prompts and see what you get!

Some final tips…

It’s best to add your color (with markers, or paper) to each section before gluing the sections onto a larger paper. That way you can move them around to decide where each piece will look best. And be sure to use a good quality permanent glue stick so everything stays where you want it!

What supplies do you have to work with? You really can use whatever you’ve got to create your own art in the style of Andy Warhol… even frosting on a cake! Just include these two design elements which are the *key* for giving your work this unique “Andy Warhol vibe”:

1. Use a high-contrast black & white photo.

2. Remove the background around your subject and add a solid color.

If you try this project, I’d love to see it! Please post to Instagram and tag me @teach.kids.art .

Affiliate links were used in this post. If you make an Amazon purchase of any kind through this site, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Teach Kids Art!

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