Andy Warhol Resist Art Project

This week I’m joining a few other mom bloggers as we all post resist art projects for children. If you don’t know what resist art is, you’re not alone. I had to do a little research myself. Wikipedia describes it this way:

Resist techniques in art use the incompatibility of two mediums to create layered effects with color and texture.

For example, if you draw with a crayon on paper and then paint with watercolors over the crayon, the wax in the crayon repels the paint that is brushed over it, but the paper surrounding the crayon will absorb the paint.

If this lesson ignites an interest in resist art (and I hope it does), please be sure to visit the pages posted at the bottom of this lesson and see what those other awesome art moms are up to.

It’s been a long, frigid winter and spring is just around the corner, so I decided to use Andy Warhol’s vibrant flower lithographs as inspiration for my project. This project is ideal for children six and older. We completed it in one sitting, but I would recommend spanning the project over two days.

Who is Andy Warhol and what is Pop Art?

You’ll want to begin by showing your children Andy’s playful flowers.


flowers_blue flowers_4

I asked the following questions as we observed the lithographs together:

What words can you use to describe these artworks? How would you describe the colors and textures? Which is your favorite, and why?

I pointed out the rough, inconsistent edges of the flowers and the photographic quality of the grass. I also introduced the word opaque as a way to describe some of the flowers.

Opaque: not able to be seen through; not transparent; not allowing light to pass through.

If you would like to teach your children a bit about Andy Warhol and Pop art, share the following information either before or during the project.

- Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 6, 1928. His hometown named a bridge after the eccentric artist which, in 2013, was beautifully decorated with yarn.

Photo by Annette Sandberg

Photo by Annette Sandberg

- At the age of 21 Andy moved to New York City to pursue a career in the arts. In the beginning he was poor and wore the same suit and tattered shoes everyday. This earned him the nickname “Raggedy Andy.” He later changed his look and became a famous style icon.

- Andy would frequently visit a café where he indulged in his favorite dessert, chocolate and lemon icebox pie. The owner of the café agreed to hang a few of his paintings on the walls. His first work sold for $25.00, an amount which he split with the owner.

- Shortly thereafter, companies such as Tiffany and Co., Vogue magazine and NBC engaged Andy Warhol for his commercial art talent. He eventually grew into a sought-after fine artist, film maker and music producer.

- Andy’s eyes were very sensitive to light and he often wore dark glasses. I wonder how his vibrant flowers looked behind those shades.

Warhol in front of Flowers silkscreen in his 47th street studio called the Factory in New York. © Bob Adelman/Corbis.

Warhol in front of Flowers silkscreen in his 47th street studio called
the Factory in New York. © Bob Adelman/Corbis.

- Andy Warhol is remembered as a Pop artist. Pop Art is a term that originated in Great Britain, but came into its own as an art movement in the 1960′s in New York City. During this time, America’s economy was booming and an increase in manufacturing produced many new consumer goods. Andy Warhol’s art reflected this mass consumerism both in its subject matter and in the way it was produced. He used a process called silk-screen printing which involves the transfer of an image from one surface onto another.

Show your kids this interesting video of Andy making a silk screen print of rock-n-roll legend Elvis Presley.

-Many people questioned the validity of Andy’s work because a) it depicted objects such as Cambell’s soup cans as the main subject and b) it was mass-produced using the silk-screen process, sometimes solely by assistants. Andy was certainly one of those 20th century artists that made art about ideas, not just beauty.

- Andy Warhol died in 1987. Today he is recognized as one of America’s most influential artists. You can see Andy’s work featured on everything from coffee cups to pillows to haute couture dresses on the runways of Paris. My guess is that he would be pleased with this mass-reproduction of his art.


This Warhol mug is available for purchase at MoMA’s online store.

Andy Warhol Resist Art Project

This is a messy one so be sure to plan accordingly. You’ll need:

- large watercolor paper
- bright acrylic paints
- watercolor paints
- painter’s tape
- coated (glossy) card stock paper
- paint brushes
- cups for water
- wet towels for wiping hands

Step One

Cut a square out of a large piece of watercolor paper. I chose a larger size since Andy’s flowers are large in scale. Ours are roughly 18″ x 18.”

Step Two

Draw flower shapes onto a glossy sheet of paper (I found a few sheets at Michaels for 19¢ each). You can do this free-hand or simply trace circles around cups in a pattern to make a flower.

Step Three

Cut out the flower shapes. The kids will be transferring the painted flowers from a glossy surface onto an absorbent one, hence the use of coated and uncoated paper.


We talked about the rough edges around Warhol’s flowers as we cut our own.

Step Four

Have the kids choose two or three paint colors for their flowers and pour the paint into large, flat containers.


Step Five

Place the cut flowers glossy side down into a container of paint. Then place the flower paint side down onto one corner of the large square paper. Repeat with three more flowers until there are four flowers altogether. During this part of the project I informed the children that we were mimicking Andy’s silk-screen process in terms of transferring an image from one surface to another.




Step Six

While the flowers dry, have the kids cut “grass” strips of artist’s tape and then place the tape on the paper around the flowers in a scattered pattern.


Step Seven

Use black watercolor paint to color around the flowers, over the tape. The tape will resist the paint. Let dry.


Step Eight

Remove the tape and fill in with green watercolor paint.



Here are our masterpieces. I am so happy with the results!

Anders, Age 6

Anders, Age 6

Meredith, Age 6

Meredith, Age 6


Ana, Age 6

Andy Warhol artwork in this post: Andy Warhol, Flowers, 1964. Images attributed to Wikipaintings. This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

If you try this project with your children or art class, please let me know how it goes. And don’t forget, you can always post a photo of a child’s work on my Facebook page, or attach a photo to your comment below.

Now for those other great resist art projects:

Allison from Learn Play Imagine: Tape Resist Art on Foil

Tammy from Housing a Forest: Wax Paper Resist 

Chelsey from Buggy and Buddy: Splatter Paint and Tape Resist 

Asia from Fun at Home with Kids: Watercolor Resist Easter Egg Garland

Ana from Babble Dabble Do: Clay Resist

Meri from Meri Cherri Blog: Fabric Resist Art Pillows

Gina from Willow Day: Watercolor Resist Envelopes

Suja from Blog Me Mom: Cracked Wax Resist Art

Stephanie from Two-daloo: Resist Art Stepping Stones

Let me know what you think of these ideas. See you next time! 

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  1. This is such a fantastic project Kristen! I just love it!!! So clever and a great learning experience too. Will definitely try this with my students who study Warhol. Thank you!

    • Kristen Nelson says:

      Thank you, Meri! Loved your project as well. Please let me know if you try this with your class as I’m always curious to see how my projects translate to the classroom.

  2. I loved reading the whole process, and their paintings turned out lovely. What a great idea!

  3. Kristen these are amazing! What a great lesson on Warhol too. I can’t wait to share this!

  4. What a beautiful project and an amazing lesson on Andy Warhol! Your website is SUCH a rockin’ resource!

  5. LOVE this project! Great write-up and photos…you ROCK!!!

  6. Wow. You are such an educated artist and mom. Brilliant! I honestly, in comparison, you guys got this art down packed. Thank you sooo much for sharing! I just love your website.

  7. Kristen, these are great! I was planning to visit a warhol exhibit over spring break next week. Now i have a great project to go with it!

  8. Kate just had to do a logo project at school where the redo famous logos. So just yesterday I was showing her Andy Warhol’s art. Funny that I just saw this post! Love this project looks like it was a lot of fun, and the finished project is so cool!

  9. Cathy Zeliff says:

    Great project, Kristen! The art work turned out spectacular. What a great project!


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