Wayne Thiebaud Lollipops Oil Pastel Lesson

Wayne Thiebaud Forms Lollipop oil pastel lesson

Wayne Thiebaud Forms and Lollipops

Grades: Upper Elementary-Lower Middle School
Supplies: 12×18 sheets white paper, pencils, *Crayola oil pastels, paper towels for cleaning pastels, newspaper for tables, *Fast Orange for cleaning oily hands


Objectives: Students will learn…

  • Artist Wayne Thiebaud’s subject matter and use of color.
  • Pop Art movement and how Thiebaud influenced the artists.
  • Forms have depth as well as height and width.
  • Compare and contrast the use of color between traditional realism versus pop art artwork.
  • How to draw forms such as cylinders and “wedges”.

Delivery: DAY 1: (25 Minutes)

Wayne Thiebaud:

  1. Born November 15, 1920, Mesa, Arizona, U.S.
  2. He is American painter and printmaker who is well-known for his colorful paintings depicting commonplace “production line” objects and items on display: pies, lipsticks, paint cans, ice cream cones, pastries, and hot dogs. He also painted landscapes and figures.
  3. Thiebaud uses thick paint and exaggerated colors to depict his subjects, and the well-defined shadows characteristic of advertisements are almost always included in his work.
    1. “You take a lemon meringue pie. It’s quite a beautiful thing…It’s more than just a subject, it’s also a kind of relationship to the paint itself. You really feel like you’re sort of making the meringue and…working with the pie.” Wayne Thiebaud.
  4. One summer during his high school years he apprenticed at Walt Disney Studios drawing “in-betweens” of Goofy, Pinocchio, and Jiminy Cricket at a rate of $14 a week.
  5. Thiebaud studied Commercial Art in school.
  6. He tried cartooning and commercial art, but eventually his passion for painting and art history led him back to school to study art education and studio art. In 1951, Thiebaud began a dual career as an art teacher and an artist in Sacramento, California.
  7. Wayne Thiebaud is often incorrectly associated with American Pop Art because of his many images of “everyday” and mass culture objects. However, his artwork executed during the fifties and sixties, slightly pre-dates the works of the classic pop artists, suggesting that Thiebaud may have had an influence on the movement because of his images and use of color.
  8. Look at Wayne Theibaud’s paintings of lollipops: Seven Suckers, BIG SUCKERS, Six Lollipops , Sucker Tree

Wayne Thiebaud Forms Lollipop oil pastel lesson

Pop Art

  1. The Pop Art movement started with the New York artists Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Claes Oldenburg.
  2. Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the 1950s and flourished in the 1960s in America and Britain, drawing inspiration from images in popular and commercial culture.
  3. Compare and contrast the use of color between traditional realism versus pop art artwork.
    1. Realism: often dulled or muted colors. Colors used are meant to represent the actual color of the object in real life. Objects are not “outlined”.
    2. Pop Art: Bright, exaggerated colors. Colors are not necessarily the actual color of the objects, but usually have been changed. Objects are often “outlined” in black or different colors.

How did Thiebaud use the elements of art?

Like frosting Thiebaud’s subjects might be light and fun, but his approach to painting is serious. He uses still-life subjects to explore formal qualities of painting: color, line, shape, light, composition, and texture.

  1. Texture: Thiebaud became famous for his ability to use paint in unexpected ways to recreate the look and feel of the substance it depicts. In Cakes, he painted each dessert with thick, heavy strokes to produce a textured surface. He transformed the oil paint into dense, buttery frosting or thick whipped cream. In other works, his paint “becomes” meringue, candy, or even mustard.
  2. Line, shape, and composition: Like a baker arranging a window display, Thiebaud carefully composes his works. Cakes shows a repeating pattern of cylinders set against a blank background. The artist places the cylinder cakes on impossibly tall stands, which create perfect elliptical shadows. Each cake and its stand are outlined to reinforce the shapes.
  3. Light and color: Thiebaud’s colors are more complicated than they seem—the white frosting is not just white, but it is also orange, blue, and beige. The cakes cast bluish-purplish shadows. Thiebaud developed a practice of sketching with different colored paints, which produces the rainbow-like lines that define the edges of his objects. His shadows are a blue or gray-purple color and many of his colors are mixed with white to give a low-key pastel look.

Wayne Thiebaud Forms Lollipop oil pastel lesson

Activity Day 2-4: (4-5 40 minute classes) Lollipops Oil Pastel Project

Create an original artwork based on Thiebaud’s “Six Lollipops” painting. Guide students in how to create the forms on the project.

  1. Use a plastic cup to draw the lollipops. Draw the front first by tracing the cup completely. Then slide the cup slightly to the right and draw the “side” of the lollipop.
  2. Lay a popsicle stick or ruler under the lollipop to draw the stick (draw a curved line at the bottom of the stick).
  3. Choose the direction the light is coming from, then draw the shadow in the opposite direction.
  4. Draw Patterns into the lollipop with a pencil.
  5. Use oil pastels to OUTLINE everything with a DIFFERENT color than what you will color the inside with. This will require thinking through your colors. Try to use color complements-colors opposite from each other on the color wheel. (Example: outline in purple and color the inside with yellow.)Wayne Thiebaud Forms Lollipop oil pastel lesson
  6. Color the insides, then go over it with white to give it a dulled pastel look.
  7. Outline the lollipop stick with blue and orange and then fill it with white.
  8. Shadows should be blue or gray-purple.

Student Artwork (4th Grade)

If you choose to use the information in this post (written or photo), please link back to my blog Create Art with ME*Amazon Affiliate Links were used in this post. I ONLY link products I use and love!Wayne Thiebaud Forms Lollipop oil pastel lesson


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