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Christmas Cookies Inspired by Wayne Thiebaud

Here comes the festive season and for Christmas we need to paint some sugary dessert. We will treat ourselves with Christmas cookies now – gingerbread man cookies, candy cane cookies and snowman for sure.

Paint Christmas Cookies in the style of Wayne Thiebaud. A great art lesson to learn still life for kids of all agesFor inspiration, we first visit Wayne Thiebaud and his ‘sweet’ paintings. Wayne Thiebaud created what children love the most, cakes and pies, pastries and cookies. He painted them as if it was ready to taste. His paintings actually brings sweet memories of birthday parties, picnics and holidays.

Wayne spent most of his time in California. After his formal studies in art, he worked as a cartoonist and also as an advertisement designer.  He taught art as an art professor for many years. And then he painted himself. He is a pop artist who painted food with bright and layered paints.

Thiebaud’s paintings might look fun but they are serious. An art lesson based on his ‘delicious’ still life paintings will teach kids how to draw line, shape and composition. These paintings teach how to draw simple shapes like cone, triangles, ovals and cylinders and then bring them to life by its colors, shadow and perspective.as creamy pie, chocolate layer cake and strawberry birthday cake His cakes are layered and frosted as if real. If you see closely, you will see that the white frosting is not just white, but tinted with orange, blue, and beige. He draws outlines of his food with lines of bright colors so that the object is more in focus. He finally beautifully decorates the cakes with cherries, hearts, flowers and  words. To give depth of the picture, he sometimes stacks the cakes one behind the other as if there is no end to it.

Thiebaud’s art lesson for kids

christmascookies-stage1Children of all ages should try to paint Christmas treats. Children from age 10 to 12 years should try painting with acrylic paints and give the effect of icing on cakes.

An object looks different when seen from different lines of vision. A standing gingerbread man looks quite different when seen lying on a tray.

christmascookies-stage2So first draw Christmas cookies so that they lie flat on a tray. The apply layers of paints to give a natural look. If you plan to add frosting to your cake, remember to use a palette knife and try heavy strokes. Let layers dry before you apply the next.

What can you learn from Wayne Thiebaud’s paintings?

  1. Thiebaud makes still life interesting by painting things which kids would like to paint. So kids, no more excuse!
  2. He teaches painting blue and purple shadows to create depths of pictures.
  3. Usepalette knives to apply frostings on cakes. Give thick, heavy strokes of paints. Use it as if you are apply on a real cake.
  4. Draw outlines with the darker shades of the paints.
  5. Give a realistic touch to pop art.

So I am sure you would like to paint more of still life. So here are two artists to visit – Patrick Caufield and Jim Dine.

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