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Wayne Thiebaud Cake Critique

Wayne Thiebaud Cake Critique Cover Image with and image of Cakes and Pies, 1995

Wayne Thiebaud Cakes

I just couldn’t ignore Wayne Thiebaud’s use of color when making my lesson on How to Draw Wayne Thiebaud Cakes. Usually, I focus on the lines and shape and make adding color optional. But with Wayne Thiebaud, his work is about color, and about the texture of the paint. So I’ve made color an integral part of the drawing pages and lesson. To make teaching this lesson easier, you can use this blog page to have students look at the work of Wayne Thiebaud. Talk about his art, and see a demonstration on how to draw a cake and add color.

Wayne Thiebaud didn’t just paint cakes, he turned his paint into the cake and icing. As you look at cakes painted by Wayne Thiebaud, be sure to notice the texture of the paint; the way he used thick paint and brushstroke to imitate a baker frosting a cake.

  • Which cake has the most realistic texture on the frosting?
  • Where does Wayne Thiebaud use repetition?
Thiebaud Paintings - Cake Slice, 1979, Pie Counter (Detail), 1963, and Encased Cakes, 2010-11

The Color of Cakes

Thiebaud observed the way color changes along the edge as it transitions from a shadow to an area lit by sunlight. He also uses color to show form.

  • What color do you see in the shadow of the cupcake?
  • What other colors can you find in the white frosting?
Thiebaud Paintings - Cakes and Pies (Detail), 1995, Untitled (Cupcake), c. 2001

Geometric Shapes

Looking for geometric shapes can help you draw your cake.

  • Can you find where Wayne Thiebaud used the following geometric shapes in his painting of cakes?
Geometric Shapes - Parallelogram
Rectangle
Sector Prism
Triangle Prism
Ellipse
Cylinder
Semi Circle Prism
Thiebaud Paintings - Cakes and Pies, 1995 and Pie Counter, 1963

Draw a Cupcake in the Style of Wayne Thiebaud

Let’s try drawing a cupcake together! I’ll show you how to draw a cupcake and add color. You can change the flavor of the cupcake to your favorite flavor. I’ll also show you how to add the shadow and give your cupcake some interesting colors. You can get the step by step drawing pages in this resource – <insert a link to Wayne Thiebaud Cakes>

Here are the main take-aways I want you to get from the video

  • Look for geometric shapes when drawing.
  • Using colored markers for the final drawing makes it more interesting.
  • Layer crayons to get some variation in the colors.
  • Start with the lighter colors and layer the dark colors on top.
  • Use a light color like white to blend the colors when you are finished.

Social & Emotional Learning in Art

Click on this image to get a free copy of this infographic.

Remind yourself and others of the social and emotional benefits of art. This is a great graphic to include in parent newsletters or display in your room.

You can read more about Social Emotional Learning in Art in this blog post.


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Wayne Thiebaud Cake Critique with a painting of Pies and Cakes
Stacey Peters

Stacey Peters

I create engaging drawing resources that help students build confidence and express themselves through art. I'm a former elementary art teacher of 25 years turned business owner. Giving you the tools you need to bring more drawing into your classroom brings me joy.

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