How to Draw Pop Art

Pop art
Illustration by Ryn Gargulinski

Pop art is so named because of its focus on popular culture. This is what makes it one of the easiest and most fun art forms--you get to draw stuff you see in everyday life. Fine lines, excruciating detail and other stuff that makes you want to throw away your marker in despair aren’t found in the pop art movement. You can draw pop art with some bold supplies and a few helpful hints.

Choose your medium. Drawing pop art works best with thick markers, paint pens and thick slabs of charcoal. Pop art is not a place for pastels and fine pencil lines.

Use clean lines and shapes. There's no fuzzy stuff here. Avoid feathery details, subtle shading and other techniques that weigh down the drawing. Keep it sleek and clean. You want your pop art to pop off the page.

Go for a popular subject. Automobiles, French fries, baseball and, yes, even apple pie are mainstream American topics. Opt for them or something similar for its high visibility and instant recognition.

Be bold. Striking black and white works great with pop art. If you must add color, pick a vivid and highly noticeable neon and use sparingly for a punchy effect. Let your main subject speak for itself and not be forced to compete with anything else on the page.

Play with perspective. Pop art likes to be zany, and nothing will bring that out more than making your main subject 800 times larger than anything surrounding it.

Use duplication. Pop art plays out well when you reproduce the same image several times. Think of your main apple pie surrounded by several, smaller apple pies or, better yet, on a page filled with tiny, bold apples.


  • Pop art is supposed to be fun. Make sure you are having fun while you are drawing it and that amusement will shine through.