I'm going to have my own go at a couple of these cakes in the upcoming coming week.
Wayne Thiebaud's cake paintings are an excellent place to begin for people of all ages. I'm going to use the cakes to express individual dimensions of emotion, or the self. It's hard to get people to draw themselves, everyone wants to stick with and be one compartmentalized self all the time for the rest of their lives. The lesson behind all self-portraits I have found as an artist and educator is not that you can pin down the self. The lesson is that the self is unpinnable. When you stop searching for it, well, that's when you're allowed a glimpse. You shouldn't be so obessesed with finding yourself, because you are wherever you go. There is nothing to find!
So, the cakes I paint will only be reflections of myself at the time and place. I may paint a cake from an interstellar galaxy all silver-like dreaming of a promising stellar future in the cosmos on an asteroid. I may stay down to earth. Whichever cake I draw, it will be just a single dot of ink, in a letter, in a book, in a library, in country, on a continent on a planet. So very small andshort-lived indeed, but for that one moment anyone who takes to look at it, it will be their world. Even if only for a few mere seconds. A few mere seconds make all the difference in the world.
So, enjoy Wayne's cakes. I have always found them so cheerful, maybe that's my German grandmother and mother speaking. Those silly women and their sweets.
Have a go at one of your own! Don't get caught up in trying to pin yourself down, just paint the cake you want to paint, and if in the meantime you are dreaming of another, go onto the other.
Wayne's cakes are also a great way to teach color, and texture. The way the paint is applied to the canvas determines which part of the cake we're looknig at: crumbly or smooth frosting? In fact, the paint itself is a lot like frosting! Make sure to pay attention to your shadows, the cake shadows like on Wayne's canvases will take on the color of the light-source. If you are under a bright blue sky, your cakes are going to cast a blue shadow!