Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mixed Media Collages Inspired by Wayne Thiebaud

Are you hungry??  Well, I was as I watched my students work on mixed media collages inspired by Wayne Thiebaud and his wonderful, delicious paintings! 
Mr. Thiebaud is inspired by the “joy of living” and so I tell students we are going to focus on the same thing...and what is better “joy of living” than dessert??

I introduce them to the “wonderful world of Wayne” with this video from CBS Sunday Morning (one of my FAVORITE arts-supporting shows!) 

After viewing several of his works online, we brainstorm a list of candy, muffins, cake, and other random desserts.  By the time we are done with this discussion, we are ALL hungry!

Students choose a dessert to create in collage and sketch ideas for the composition.  They find a real photo to use as inspiration and use tempera paint to paint some pieces of paper in the colors they will need.   These will be used to create the actual subject matter.  As they are painting, I ask them to blend colors and really play with the paint - no colors straight out of the bottle!  This makes the collages so much more interesting.

To begin the base of their collage, students choose a piece of matboard or cardboard that they then cover in an “interesting” background paper.  I provide old phone books, atlases and newspapers to do this job, but they are welcome to bring their own papers in, too, as long as they are not too colorful.  I ask them not to just cover the base in one flat piece, but to add a little texture by gluing the paper on in strips, squares, circles, etc.  
(p.s. We just use simple Elmer’s gluesticks for all gluing in this project and sometimes put something heavy on it, to make sure it sticks as it dries.  If you use enough glue, this works perfectly!)

After the base is complete and dry, students start cutting out shapes for their dessert subject matter.  We talk about layering details and best placement on the cardboard.

Students then turn to embellishments by using letter stamps, and other items of their choice to jazz up their piece and make it fun and finished!  If they choose to, they may finish the collage off with a layer of Mod Podge.

We all need a little more Wayne in our lives, don’t you think?  “Joy of life” indeed!  Excuse me while I go eat some cake! :-)  Happy snacking!