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Here students generate object art in the manner of Wayne Thiebaud and other 1960s pop artists


Art, Social Studies  


9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Wayne Thiebaub: Working with Composition, Color and Contrast
By – Camille Tuttrup
Primary Subject – Art
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies
Grade Level – 9-12
Class – Art 1, 2, 3, and 4

NCSC Goals:

      Competency 1, 2, 3, and 4
      National Content Standards for Visual Arts:

      • understanding applying media, techniques and process.
      • using knowledge of structures and functions.
      • choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas.
      • understanding visual arts in relation to history and cultures.
      • reflecting upon and assess the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others.

    National Content Standards for American History:

    • understanding the 1960s social setting and its influences on cultural artwork.


    Students will:

    • develop observational skills through work from life .
    • use color to describe light and form.
    • render ordinary objects in a manner reminiscent of the pop artists of the American 1960s.
    • use cool colors as cast shadows and hot colors as high lights.
    • develop techniques appropriate for materials.
    • discuss in a positive manner their artwork and the artwork of their peers.


      Art 1 – Contour drawing and shading

    Art 2, 3, 4 – Painting with acrylics

    • Common food stuffs, donuts or cupcakes
    • White napkins
    • Paper 8½ x 12 inches
    • Oil pastels
    • Acrylic paints
    • Flat brushes – ½”
    • Styrofoam trays (palettes)
    • Container for water
    • Paper towels
    • Gesso brown paper

Visual Aids:

  • Book: Nash, S. and Gopnik, A. Wayne Thiebaud A Painting Retrospective
  • Poster: Wayne Thiebaud, 1963 . Oil on Canvas, 60″ x 72″, Scholastics Art Magazine-Masterpiece of the month #4


      Balanced composition
      Cast shadow
      Warm and cool colors
      Contrasting colors / Complementary colors
      Negative space
    Halation (thin line of contrasting color around edges of object)


  • Students will learn how ordinary objects can make an interesting and thought provoking still life study.
  • Discuss how and why American pop artists chose to depict typical American objects as symbols representing American consumerism of the 1960s.

Activity Procedure:

  1. Teacher places colorful donuts on napkins at students’ tables when they arrive to class (to pique curiosity in the lesson).
  2. Students listen to a brief lecture on Wayne Thiebaud’s artwork and his relationship to the American pop artists of the 1960s after being shown examples of his style.
  3. Students receive paper and pastels.
  4. Teacher instructs students to draw or paint a quick study of objects and assigns a time limit.
  5. Teacher discusses composition, negative space, contrasting colors in context with artwork being produced.
  6. Artwork is hung up as if in a gallery setting.
  7. Class positively critiques each other’s work.


    Oral critique: make note of which students participated in the discussion giving positive feedback of peer’s artwork. Explain to students that this will count as a participation grade

E-Mail Camille Tuttrup !

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