4th graders are watching their clay projects slowly dry and then we will still need to fire them so we are doing another Thiebaud inspired project by going back to 2D (Something we haven’t really done since September) and drawing some of his delicious sweets.
First, before the clay project even started, we viewed some of his artwork and students expressed interest in drawing cupcakes because the frosting looked “super yummy, Miss J”. I had seen a lesson that did this before and when it was time to let the clay dry, I approach the idea of that lesson in my own way. I knew that if we practiced the cupcakes, drawing milk shakes and ice cream would also come easy – not to mention the lesson is a great introduction to using line to create 3D like forms.
On my board, I drew a small step-by-step of a basic cupcake. This was something students could reference at any time for their drawing.
The arrows on step one show that the cup should have a dip in the top and bottom and the sides should slant in towards the bottom. This helps the cup begin to look 3D. The second step was changing the top line to be more decorative either with a zig-zag, bumpy line, or wavy line as well as the ridging on the cupcake casing. The fourth step was the frosting…which students learn is only hard the first time. I enlist the help of the “letter C” when showing them the layers of the frosting. And finally, the fourth step just references the toppings like cherries (Thiebaud’s favorite), sprinkles, etc.
I give each student a 12×18 piece of white construction paper and they all use pencil to walk once through the process with me. They moan and groan because they’re new to the process but as soon as they finish one, they are surprised to see how easy it is. For our project, just like Thiebaud repeats, we are creating multiple cupcakes. So once we finish one, I have them draw more – building on their skills each time. In the end, you will have students talking and noticing why the curved lines help them see the image in 3D form. We also have a discussion about how these concepts can be used to draw other items of every day life – milk shakes, ice cream cones, anything rounded, etc. With the extra space (after they draw 3 or more cupcakes), I have them practice these ideas.
Students love drawing food. That’s a given. I’ve been impressed with what has come of this so far.
After they have chosen the three cupcakes they want to use in their project, they outline it in permanent marker so that when we add details to it, it will stand out. Stay tuned!