Musical Notes and Sprite Faces
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2009

Reference URL

Musical Notes and Sprite Faces 1953
  • Artist Rooms
Warhol’s most famous work, from the early 1960s onwards, differs from his commercial illustrations in many respects. Yet there are similarities; specific aspects of his later work are anticipated in these early drawings. During the 1950s, alongside his blotted-line technique, Warhol began investigating different processes which he could incorporate into his work, such as marbled paper and gold leaf. This illustration is an example of the way he experimented with rubber stamps to create an identical, repeated image. This directly relates to the technique of screenprinting, which enabled Warhol to duplicate photographic images and motifs.

Glossary Open

Blotted-Line Technique

Andy Warhol first experimented with this form of print-making whilst a student and it would later characterise his commercial work of the 1950s. With two sheets of paper hinged together, a pencil drawing is made on one sheet which is subsequently traced over with ink. Whilst the ink is still wet the sheets of paper are pressed together, thus transferring the line. The result is a broken, yet apparently intuitive, line drawing.


A distinctive element in a work of art or design.


A print made by forcing ink through a screen on which a stencil is placed. Traditionally used for commercial printing, it has been taken up by artists since the 1960s when it was used extensively in Pop art.

Blotted-Line Technique, Motif, Screenprint


  • Acc. No. AR00246
  • Medium Ink and dye on paper
  • Size 45.40 x 36.50 cm
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008