Monday, March 7, 2016

Wayne Thiebaud Inspired Dessert Paintings

3rd grade artists began this project by experimenting with color mixing, combining different colors together to create brand new colors and naming them. Some of the unique colors and names we came up with are below:

After exploring color mixing, we then looked at and discussed the work of American painter Wayne Thiebaud. Thiebaud (pronounced "tee-bow") is known for his paintings of everyday objects, like food. He was born in 1920 and is still alive today, which makes him 95 years old!
Wayne Thiebaud, Four Cupcakes (1971)
We looked at his paintings of different kinds of desserts and noticed his use of bright colors and dramatic, colorful shadows. They are often painted on a white or plain background without a lot of detail, so the focus is really on the dessert. Looking at several examples made us hungry! 
To begin our own paintings of desserts, we looked at the geometric shapes and forms that make up a lot of our favorite desserts. We noticed that many desserts are either a cylinder, like a cake or pie; a cone shape, like an ice cream cone; a sphere, like the scoop of ice cream; or a triangular prism, like a slice of cake. We brainstormed and drew a few sketches of our favorite desserts before selecting one to sketch out on larger paper, focusing on the shapes.
The following class, we used our recent experience with mixing colors to paint our favorite desserts! We thought about how we could mix a variety of colors, thinking about the bright colors that Thiebaud uses in his painting, as well as use white to create tints of color. Students painted their desserts, incorporating tints, and also painted the background, considering the use of a complementary colors and colors that would help their desserts to stand out.
The following week, students added additional details on top, now that the first layer of paint had dried. Students thought about how they could decorate their cakes, ice cream cones, sundaes and doughnuts with creative details like frosting, sprinkles, flowers, candles and hot fudge. Since Wayne Thiebaud's paintings are also characterized by their strong shadows, we looked at cast shadows and how the shape of the object changes the shape of the shadow. Students added a colorful shadow to their dessert, and many students actually chose to add a window in their background to show a light source. Here are some colorful examples of our delicious Wayne Thiebaud inspired desserts:
Caroline F., 3rd grade (Stone)
Andrew, 3rd grade (Lutz)
Breanna, 3rd grade (Donato)
Aiden, 3rd grade (Lutz)
Miah, 3rd grade (Monfette)
Keir, 3rd grade (Fletcher)
Emma, 3rd grade (Fletcher)
Cammy, 3rd grade (Stone)
Sophie, 3rd grade (Lutz)
Caroline A., 3rd grade (Lutz)

Anna, 3rd grade (Stone)
Gabriel, 3rd grade (Monfette)

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