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Roy Lichtenstein-A Visual Analysis

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Caryna Ha

on 27 March 2014

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Transcript of Roy Lichtenstein-A Visual Analysis

Roy Lichtenstein-A Visual Analysis
Techniques Used
The main technique used to create this artwork were mainly painting with a paintbrush. Lichtenstein has opted to use strong, bold lines that stand out. This was to create a dynamic effect and to capture a sense of having being printed, as the works he appropriated from were nearly always comics, and they were mass printed. He has also opted to mainly use paints which are mainly in primary colours, or limiting the use of many colours in one work.
Drowning Girl
The title of this artwork is
Drowning Girl
. It was done by Roy Lichtenstein in 1963 and was painted with oil paints on a canvas.

This painting shows clear examples of strong, dark lines, most of which are not straight, but curved. Benday dots help to create shadows in the artwork; without which, the painting would seem to be flat and 2 dimensional. From further research of their usage, it is worth noting that Benday dots were commonly used in the illustrations of comics. The swirling lines which form the motion of the water give the painting additional depth, adding to the overall space in the painting. Once again, it is worth noting that there is no clear vanishing point, as the painting seems to give of a feeling of a spiral.

It is important to note that girl (the main subject matter) is positioned in nearly the centre of the entire artwork. I find that this makes it slightly easier for the viewer to have his or her eye drawn to the expression on her face.

There is slight repetition in the artwork as is created by the swirling lines used to show the motion of the water. These create a slight feeling of chaos and confusion, as it gives off a sense of uncertainty. However, there is also a sense of peacefulness, due to the fact that the water seems to be moving quite gently.

Also in the artwork, there is not much contrast between the colours. Instead Lichtenstein has opted to mainly use varying shades of blue in the artwork. This is a tonal gradient, which also helps to emphasise the detail in the artwork.
Subject Matter
The subject matter of this artwork is the image of the drowning girl. Due to the fact that most of the main subject's body is covered with 'water' the audience is left to assume that there is probably the remainder of her body in the water, possibly meaning that she is in need of assistance.

The girl is shown to have blue, or darkish hair. and is also seen to be crying. The thought bubble in the top left hand corner gives us some insight into what might be troubling her, but there are still many unanswered questions which arise from this. She is painted in a very realistic way, meaning that it is fairly easy for the viewer to identify and sympathise with the emotions that she might be feeling.

It is interesting to note that the girls hair is one of the darkest shades of blue in the image; also drawing attention to the fact that her hair is an unsual shade.

Lichtenstein was inspired to paint this image due to inspiration he found from DC Comics and other comic strips. As a work of appropriation, he took the main aspects of the images and varied them slightly. Interestingly, in the thought bubble, Lichtenstein has used the name ‘Brad’, a name that he had used in other paintings such as
(1962) and
I Know.. Brad
(1964). This is because the artist thought that the name Brad was heroic.
Brief Background and Introduction
Roy Lichtenstein was an American pop artist who was born in 1923. He is most well known for his works which resembled comic strips. Alongside artists such as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenberg and Robert Rauschenberg, he was one of the leading artists of the Pop Art movement in the 1960s.

Within his works, he is noted for his use of Benday dots, which were used to create shadow in his images. Also notable is his tendency to only depict blonde women within his works.

I chose Roy Lichtenstein as I believe that he had a interesting artistic style, especially noting the fact that he only painted certain subject matters. I also find the fact that he appropriated images from comics to be particually interesting.

Today, I will be discussing the painting 'Drowning Girl'
By Caryna Ha 8B
Meaning and Messages
As far as I can tell, there is no obvious message or meaning to this artwork. However, it is possible that the artwork is actually mildly symbolic. Looking at the turbulent waters which surround the girl, it is reasonable to assume that she might not literally be drowning in waters, but instead sinking in a pool of thoughts and worries. Out of her desperation, it is possible that she needs help coping with these troubles, but yet she refuses to call Brad for help. As his is the only name that is mentioned, there is a possibility that he is the only person that could possibly help her in her current state, but due to her refusal to call him, it is also possible that they are in a major disagreement at the current moment. Whilst I was not able to identify a clear meaning or message to the artwork, I have been able to find a brief story behind the image.
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