Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Warhol Blotted Line Drawings

If you are interested in learning more about the Blotted Line Drawings that Warhol created throughout his life please take a look at the following link:

About the Art:

Andy Warhol’s drawing The French Look is one of many shoe illustrations he created using a special type of line drawing known as the blotted line technique. Warhol first experimented with blotted line while still a college student at Carnegie Institute of Technology. He continued to craft this technique in his commercial work in New York City throughout the 1950s. Blotted line enabled Warhol to create a variety of illustrations along a similar theme. This type of production allowed him to bring multiple ideas to clients and increase the odds one of his drawings would be chosen for the final advertisement.

Blotted line combines drawing with very basic printmaking. Warhol began by copying a line drawing on a piece of non-absorbent paper, such as tracing paper. Next he hinged this piece of paper to a second sheet of more absorbent paper by taping their edges together on one side. With an old fountain pen, Warhol inked over a small section of the drawn lines then transferred the ink onto the second sheet by folding along the hinge and lightly pressing or “blotting” the two papers together. Larger drawings were made in sections. Completing a large blotted line drawing could take quite a bit of time and multiple pressings. The process resulted in the dotted, broken, and delicate lines that are characteristic of Warhol’s illustrations. Warhol often colored his blotted line drawings with watercolor dyes or applied gold leaf.


Ink pens and nibs
India ink
Dr. Martin watercolor dyes
Source images
Paper towels
Tracing paper
Arches 88/Coventry Rag paper
Clear tape
Gold leaf
Aquasize, gold leaf/Aquasize brushes
Watercolor brushes
Paint trays and containers

Project Procedure:

1.Cut full sheets of Arches 88 or Coventry Rag paper into smaller sheets. Cut tracing paper to corresponding sizes.
2.Collect a range of magazine source images: models, shoes, perfume, jewelry, etc.
3.Select a source image then tape a piece of tracing paper on top of the image, tracing it with a pencil. Next, hinge the tracing paper with tape to the Arches 88/Coventry Rag.
4.Opening the papers like a book, ink a small part of the traced drawing then lightly blot the ink onto the watercolor paper with fingers or the opposite end of the ink pen. Continue to ink and blot small segments at a time until the drawing is finished. Dr. Martin’s dyes or gold leaf can be used after the ink is dry to fill in the drawings.
5.When using gold leaf, apply a thin layer of Aquasize on selected areas and wait for it to become tacky before placing pieces of gold leaf on top.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! I've always wondered how Warhol made those beautiful drawings.