'Pistols for Two'
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2009

Reference URL

'Pistols for Two' 1951
  • Artist Rooms
Throughout his career Warhol created numerous artist books. However, he also designed book covers for other authors. This is the design for the cover of the book ‘Pistols for two’ by Aaron Marc Stein. It is a typical example of Warhol’s early drawing style in its use of his blotted-line technique, combined with a wash in the background which leaves the two figures as ghostly silhouettes. The only detail Warhol has focused on are the guns and the hand held tightly behind the closest figure’s back. Seventeen years later, in 1968, Warhol himself was shot and critically injured.

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.


Images showing an outline with no internal detail set against a contrasting background. It is specifically used for portraits of this type cut from paper.


A transparent layer of diluted ink or watercolour.

Blotted-Line Technique, Silhouette, Wash


  • Acc. No. AR00261
  • Medium Ink, graphite and tempera on paper
  • Size 22.30 x 26.30 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