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The Design Center, DT&G / Photoshop Department / Warhol Style  

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Photoshop for the Andy Warhol Style

Part 1, Introduction

B.J., a DTG reader from Texas, recently contacted me to help locate an artist for a graphics project. After some discussion, I volunteered to work on the project myself with the understanding that I would write an article about the creation of the art. All was agreed, so read along as we attempt to capture Andy Warhol's style and technique in creating art using Adobe Photoshop CS2.

B.J. has practiced Law since graduating from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 1984. Eventually he acted as a municipal judge before becoming a corporate lawyer for a large firm in Fort Worth Texas. His art project is appropriately a portrait of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall -- with a unique twist. He's looking for an Andy Warhol treatment.

B.J. says:
      "Justice Marshall was my hero and inspiration for going to law school. I was born the year after he argued the Brown v. Board of Education case before the U.S. Supreme Court and did not benefit from that ruling until 1970 when the schools in Louisiana were finally desegregated.
      Notwithstanding my deep seated reverence for what Justice Marshall embodied, as my request for the reproductions in Warhol style attest to, I am also somewhat irreverent."

Thurgood Marshall stamp To produce the art, B.J. requested and was granted a license from United States Postal Service (USPS) to reproduce the image found on the Thurgood Marshall commemorative stamp. As a lawyer and former judge, he plans to hang the art in his study, with no intention of using the image commercially.

Thurgood Marshall was the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Born in 1908, he was the grandson of a slave, and eventually served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1967 to 1993 when he died of cancer.

According to the Wikipedia, as a child, Marshall was punished for his school misbehavior by being forced to read the Constitution, which he later said piqued his interest in the document. He had two sons, Thurgood Marshall Jr., a former top aide to President Bill Clinton, and John W. Marshall, who is a former United States Marshals Service Director, and since 2002 has served as Virginia Secretary of Public Safety under Governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. So there's our subject.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol (Self Portrait) , born in 1928, rose to notoriety as an American artist, in the mid 1950s. As one of the founders of the Pop Art (?) movement in the United States, his simple, larger-than-life, high-contrast color paintings (silk-screen prints) captivated the fancy of millions of art lovers as well as the hearts of up-and-coming artists through the 1960s. His paintings of packaged consumer products like Campbell's Soup Cans, and striking depictions of twentieth-century celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor. Through the 1960s into the 1970s he gained even more fame through his association with rock music icons like the Rolling Stones and The Velvet Underground -- he created The Rolling Stones' lips and tongue logo. As an avant-garde filmmaker, writer and social figure, he is much quoted for such sayings as: "In the future everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes". He passed away in 1987 leaving behind an entire generation of Warhol fans. You can find lots and lots of links to Andy's art at the Artcyclopedia, and Wikipedia. Try this Google Image link to scroll through 137,000 instances of images pertaining to Warhol.

Andy Warhol Style

It is more appropriate to ask "which" Warhol style rather than trying to represent him with a broad stroke. Warhol produced literally thousands of works during his career. However, the most widely recognized and loved works by Warhol are the unique serigraphs (?) of Marilyn Monroe and other celebrities of the day. So this is the technique we shall attempt to achieve in this tutorial.

Next: Investigating the Warhol Style


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