Monday, March 13, 2017

Wayne Thiebaud Cakes with oil pastel - grade six

Wayne Thiebaud cake lesson plans are such a good bang for your buck. Have you seen his amazing cake paintings?

They translate so well to oil pastel lessons for junior level grades. You get some fundamental drawing skills, shading, blending, and a finished product that looks kinda 3D, and the entire thing can be accomplished in under one and a half hours! Since I am still on mat leave (only for another week!! Ugh) I've been getting my fill of art by volunteering with my friend's class, so I really need lessons that can be done in one shot, rather quickly but with a great payoff. 

I always begin projects like this with a group draw (think - paint night style.) I drew each step on the board, stopping to make sure that everyone was following along and making sure the lines were parallel. I can't stress how important this is! If they aren't parellel lines, the cake will look... not like a cake. Which just isn't fun when you're doing a cake project.

Next, students need to begin coloring and shading using oil pastel. I told them they could go crazy with as many layers as they wanted, but to remember that every layer needed to be colored in, so if they were super thin, they would have trouble keeping the lines clean.

Have them start by (1) coloring in each layer with a base color. Next, they will (2) blend using white oil pastel, going toward the center. Finally, they will (3) blend using black oil paste, going toward the center. I tell my students that they don't need to use fingers or kleenex to blend oil pastel, that just coloring on top of the color with the shade will blend it quite nicely. 

Once the layers are done, they can color the exterior of the cake. Using the same technique of coloring with the base layer first, students can blend the black and white oil pastels coming from the edges and going in toward the center of the cake. 

The top can be colored with an all over color, and students can decorate it using candles, candies, and anything else they can dream up!

The final step is the add-ons - a plate, a table, some cake shadowing. 
Some kids went ahead and did wallpaper designs, which just took the project up a notch. Depending on how much time you have, there can be a lot of creativity here!

I love this lesson. It would be great  to leave with a substitute. You could even link them to this page and just have them follow the steps. Easy peasy!

Have you tried this activity? If so, please link me in the comments!


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