We began with an exploration of Pop Art and Andy Warhol's soup cans and other themes. THIS Antiques Roadshow Video was shared as well. Students then made a list of common products they buy, eat, or use. Doritos, Brand Name Shoes, beverages, candy, etc.
Their homework was to bring in one full page print of their item in it's packaging or wrapper. I have a printer and computer set-up for those without a printer. This homework was graded and those who did not follow through were able to chose from a pile I had pre-printed out. Their homework grade was a zero (Though later they will have an opportunity for extra credit.)
I found it helpful to take student images and pass them through my printer with an 8x10 in grid superimposed on their image. HERE or HERE are ones you may be able to use. This cut down on time so they could get to their canvasboard and create their final grid. It was also helpful for everyone to start with the same grid because their was less individual issues. Most students were able to measure their final grid, and those who had difficulty were told to use the width of the ruler to draw horizontal and then vertical lines. I give students a choice of 3 grid sizes so ambitious students can work large (18x24 in.), and most others work on a medium format canvas (12x12 or 12 x 16 in.)
We outlined pencil drawings in sharpie marker, erased out pencil grids and line, and began to paint with primary and secondary colors plus black, white, and brown. We spoke about how Pop artists liked using saturated colors, and that if an object was originally turquoise, I encouraged them to choose an alternate bold color. They were even able to choose colors that were not accurate to their item, but that colors and combinations should be bold. They saw that contrasting colors created the most bold combinations.
Those that truly felt the need for a custom color were allowed to mix those from the colors provided in a separate cup, but it was generally discouraged for this project.
When images were complete, students needed to consider a bold pattern for the background. It was to be done in such a way that the pattern should appear to go behind the pop culture item. Most were fairly successful in doing that.
Before completing projects students did a mid-project criticism sandwich praising their peers for something positive in their work, and offering advice to ensure success. This too was helpful in keeping everyone on point.
The last sample is by one of my special needs students. I generally have them do the same or similar project in a simplified way. They do one step at a time to the best of their ability: Draw, Trace with pen, Erase, Paint one color each day till done, trace black lines to finish.