Artist Lichtenstein took existing items from comic books and repurposed them into his own Pop Art style. Drowning Girl was an artwork which came from "Run for Love!" a comic strip story in DC Comics' Secret Love #83.
Part of Lichtenstein-ing the original artwork involved reducing the image to just include the woman. This was typical of him, as seen with so many other canvases from this period. He would also adapt the caption too, before delivering his version in signature benday dots.
It was the snapshots of emotion which the artist found to be an interesting aspect of comic strips, and this influenced him in deciding to use them as the inspiration for his work around this time.
The artist's method involved reproducing a mechanised process by hand, in order to add a personal element to this art form. The stages involved dark outlines to form shapes before individual dots to provide depth and interest to the work.