4th graders spent a class period honing in on their drawing skills by studying the work of Thiebaud. As I like to refer to him, he’s the artist with “Sweets on Repeat”.
After returning from the weekend, students are using oil pastels to decorate their cupcakes. My fourth graders used oil pastels in the beginning of the year and practiced creating different tints and tones of one color. They had created monochromatic landscapes inspired by Grant Wood. I was thankful, then, when I did the demo on the cupcakes to learn that they recalled that information. Following our drawing day (linked above), we outlined our cupcakes in permanent marker simple to add contrast once the oil pastels overlay them.
Each table was equipped with tissue (kleenex) and an array of oil pastel colors. I use the Crayola brand because they’re middle ground for cost and don’t dry out like some of those company brands do. I have them gather at the center table and go through some of the techniques…layering for darker colors, overlapping colors to create blending, smudging with the tissue, using darker colors to emphasize details, creating shadow and depth by shading from dark to light, etc. I encourage them to start with the light colors first so they can cover up mistakes later. And the nice part about this project is that we will be cutting our cupcakes out and pasting them on a background paper so if they go out of the lines, it’s okay. This makes blending with the tissue easier and also allows them to use the extra space around the cupcakes to test out colors. That alone, seeing students do that, is rewarding.
Of course, I encourage students to get extremely creative with their cupcake ideas. After all, think of the society we live in today and how popular culinary arts is as a profession. This project creates a perfect conversation surrounding purpose within an art degree or profession. The entire class time is spent talking about flavors, blended frosting, and more. I anticipated only needing one class time for their oil pastels but students became so invested in their blending and designs that we will be doing this another class period and moving on the display of the cupcakes next week.
Also, stay tuned for an incredible announcement regarding these lovely cupcakes and some collaboration in the future!