Donut Prints is an inventive, fun, and easily-adaptable art lesson for Pre K through 3rd grade students. The lesson's objectives can focus on any of the following art elements, principles, and practices, depending on grade level: shape, form (via adding shadows), color, value(via shadow printing), pattern, texture, balance, emphasis, mono printing/stamp printing, collage, and pastel.
The colorful, food paintings of American Pop artist Wayne Thiebaud can be incorporated into the lesson as an art history component and source of inspiration for students.
Teacher prep: Create stamps by slicing hollow pool noodles vertically to create 2" thick donuts. Younger students, with smaller hands, may require thicker donuts for easier handling. Slice enough donuts so each student can receive three. Create the three donut flavors (chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry) by mixing large quantities of appropriate tempera colors in large mixing bowls. Use spatulas to transfer each color into gallon-sized, pump bottles. Cover student work areas with newspaper sheets.
Divide students into groups of three. Each group receives three small bowls. Each bowl contains one donut 'flavor' of chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry. Each student receives a plastic plate holding three donut stamps. Use one donut stamp per 'flavor' paint. Each student then selects a colored-sheet of 18 x 24" construction paper.
Students arrange their construction papers either horizontally or vertically. They begin stamp printing by dipping a donut into a 'flavor' paint (making sure the entire bottom-surface of the stamp is covered with a thin layer of paint), then pressing the paint-covered surface of the stamp onto their construction papers. Students continue stamping until their entire paper is covered with donut prints. Let dry.
Once dry, it is time for students to decorate their donuts. Thicker/textured paint, oil pastels, or cray pas can be used as icing. Pieces of colored-yarn can be used for icing swirls or stripes. Small colored-buttons, beads, and whole punch remnants from colored construction-paper can be used for sprinkles, chips, and fruit. If applying to a wet layer of thick paint, decoration materials can be pressed into paint. If applying to dry paint, oil pastels, or cray pas, use white liquid-glue to adhere decorations.
For a three-dimensional effect to donuts, apply black or darker shades of the donut-flavor color to one side of the donut using paint, oil pastels, or cray pas.
Grades Pre K through 3rd
Students will create at least one, unique, mono print on a large sheet of 18 x 24" colored-construction paper. Each print will consist of stamp-printed donuts (vanilla, chocolate, and/or strawberry colored paint) in a pattern of the student's choice. Once dry, each donut will receive a layer of icing (paint, pastel, or cray pas), then be further decorated with icing swirls (paint, pastels, cray pas, or yarn); sprinkles, candy chips, and/or fruit (hole punch remnants, pastels, cray pas, small buttons, and/or beads). For a three-dimensional effect, shadows can be added to a portion of each donut side using pastels or cray pas.
Colored-Construction paper, 18 x 24" sheets
3 large mixing bowls, spatulas, and gallon-pump bottles
Small bowls (3 per every 3 students)
Plastic plates (1 per student)
Hollow pool-noodles sliced vertically (3 per student)
Oil pastels or cray pas
Colored yarn, small colored-buttons, small and medium-sized beads
Hole punch remnants (from colored-construction paper)
Small paint brushes
White, liquid glue (in small bottles, or in bowls with brushes)
Julien Tomasello MFA, MAT
Color/Color Mixing = students can observe teacher mixing tempera for donut flavors.
Pattern = students can create their own or follow teacher's direction.
Texture = fluid paint will allow for the texture of the pool-noodle donut to show through on the print, while thicker paint allows for a more three-dimensional donut print.
Balance/Emphasis = students can experiment with balance and emphasis through the controlled or limited use of one donut-flavor color.
Value = value can be learned through the technique of shadow-printing donuts.