Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thiebaud Inspired Cakes

5th Graders finished up their cakes modeled after Wayne Thiebaud's collection this week. Our focus was tints and shades and I think they turned out pretty yummy looking! It is always interesting to me how difficult angles can be (even for older kids).


  1. They look delicious! The kids did a great job. Yum.

  2. Oh wow! My kids who study 'nutritional care' (8th grade) will love this too!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Ilse @art lessons from Belgium

  3. These turned out great! I teach in a middle school where my students have had very little art experiences and are a bit self conscience about drawing. I'd love to do this project with them. Could you give me some tips on how you instructed them through the drawing process?

  4. KS - If you refer to my post here you will see a pencil drawing that shows the steps:

    I started having the kids draw an oval near the top of their paper. They made a dot in the center of the oval and then drew the 2 diagonal lines out to the bottom edge of the oval (erasing the portion of the oval between the 2 diagonals). Next, we drew the left and right sides of the cake, stopping about an inch and half before the bottom of the page. Then, they drew the bottom of the cake (I likened it to the smile in a happy face -- a large curve. At this point they have a whole cake.

    To "remove the slice" I had them draw the 2 lines down from the top oval to that "happy face" line at the bottom, erasing the portion of the arc between those two lines.

    The last step was the hardest for some. They drew the vertical line from the dot in the center of their oval to near the bottom. I explained that the bottom diagonals needed to match the top diagonals and showed them how to "eyeball" that using their fingers or 2 pencils to judge how make those lines parallel (same with the middle frosting diagonal lines.

    Hope this helps -- it is kind of wordy!!!

  5. Thiebaud is one of my favourite artists- did they use oil pastels for these? They turned out great!

  6. Miss - Thanks. Yes, these were done with oil pastels.

  7. Great lesson + great teacher = excellent student work!!! These look fantastic! I also like how you have displayed them on large black paper to create a frame! I have tried this lesson with my 5th graders. The most difficult part for them is adding value to the inside. How do you explain this process to your students?

    1. First, thank you for the kind words. With respect to shading, I always demonstrate first with a flashlight shining on cylinders and we discuss "light source." You'll notice in the 2nd photo above there is a little icon picture of a lightbulb. All students use these as a visual reference for where their light is coming from and what part of the cake it hits. I find this helps with that internal shading (although for some it is still hard). I think shading is one of those skills that improves the more the kids work with it.

  8. Thank you so much for posting this! I felt like I was in a teaching rut and saw your blog and now I am excited to present this lesson to my students! Thank you for breaking down all the steps.