How to be awesome at making a Warhol-style portrait

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

With the artist Andy Warhol dead over 20 years, long gone are the days of having him or one of his Factory minions immortalize your face in multiple, colorful, silkscreened form, but there are a couple of different ways to pull off a similar effect today.

1 - Choose your picture

To ape Warhol's approach, use a full-face portrait that takes up most of the frame.

2 - Do digital

Not surprisingly, there's a free-to-use photo effect that outputs a passable simulation of the Warhol portrait style. Download or scan your photo of choice and go to Follow instructions to upload your pic onto the page, then click on "create" and it'll soon reappear as a square of nine multicolored, high-contrast images. You can print it, save it to your desktop or Flickr page, or, for a small fee, have it upgraded to a hi-res image or printed poster-size.

3 - Shift to manual

The handmade approach will produce something more raw and varied, more in keeping with the look of a real Warhol. For this you'll need a hard copy of your photo, access to a copier and some color to apply. A kids' watercolor set is a cheap option, or you can splurge on art markers.

4 - Cut and paste

Copy the photo four to nine times, tweaking the darkness levels each time to simulate the imperfections of silkscreen. Fasten them together in a grid on a blank piece of paper, then copy that so your final image is on one, flat sheet. (Copy stores will enlarge beyond standard sizes with the photographer's written permission.)

5 - Play with color

There are a couple of good guidelines to keep in mind when you add color to your portrait, like keeping the edges of the color fields neat and using complementary hues to make the pictures pop. Otherwise, just have fun with your colors - tint skin green and eyelids purple or add bright red highlights to a hairstyle. For an added finish, use light-colored crayons to outline a few facial contours or folds of fabric.