Wayne Thiebaud Ice Cream Cones Roundup

wayne thiebaud ice cream cones


Summer is almost here. Why not try a warm-weather twist on Wayne Thiebaud with an ice cream art lesson? Check out these ice cream cone lessons using paint, collage, papier-mache and more.

thiebaud cones

cone collage

Directed Draw/Paint:

  • 1. I discovered an entire Wayne Thiebaud unit at the fabulous Danish Fru Billedkunst (“Mrs. Fine Art”) blog. Click here for her step-by-step ice cream cone drawing diagram.

Our second graders began by folding their paper into quarters. The horizontal fold became the table edge. Students drew two cones on each side of the vertical fold. We used crayons and tempera cakes. Students had the option of painting a background, or cutting out their art and gluing it to construction paper. They looked so beautiful at our school art show (see photo at top of post).

Here are some more interesting ideas for Thiebaud-inspired ice cream fun:


  • 2. Miss Young’s Art Room has a simple ice cream collage for kindergarten
  • 3. ARTASTIC! has a torn paper collage that would be great for using up all those paper scraps at the end of the year


Group project:

  • 5. Kids Artists has a whole-class painted paper ice cream cone collage.

Papier Mache Sculpture:

  • 6. Phyl’s There’s a Dragon in My Art Room blog has an awesome papier-mache ice cream cone sculpture project using a paper water cone, newspaper, masking tape and art paste.

More resources

My Wayne Thiebaud Powerpoint includes repetition of simple shapes, variety, use of thick paint, horizon line and shadow.

I always show my ancient (circa 2000!) Behind the Scenes with Wayne Thiebaud [VHS] – it includes Mr. Thiebaud drawing an ice cream cone. Oh, why can’t I find a DVD or digital version??

Wayne Thiebaud video from CBS

Whatever project you choose, your students are bound to have fun!




Do you have a favorite ice cream cone project?

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10 thoughts on “Wayne Thiebaud Ice Cream Cones Roundup

    • Hello! I absolutely love your Wayne Thiebaud unit. Thank goodness for Google Translate. It was so good of you to include all the drawing instructions for so many projects, and to show results over all the grade levels. I’m a fan!

  1. Love your projects Rina! I have to come visit you sometime. I’m teach art at Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts.

    • Hi Kathy

      I hear your school is great. Stop by my incredibly messy end of year art room until mid June. Do you ever attend the fall art ed workshops for SDCAEA and local museums? Also – NAEA is coming to San Diego next March. Would love to meet up.

    • Hi Phyl

      I will definitely test out your cone project this summer! I have used art paste before but have never tried paper mâché on anything other than balloons. Should be fun.

      • Ha ha… you know how I hate papier-mache on balloons, right? One bad experience and I don’t ever want it to happen again! You don’t need to use art paste if you prefer something else though. We use it because it is quick, easy, and stores well, though I’m sure other choices are stronger.

        • Hi Phyl

          I’m with you! I’ve used wheat paste before – loved the hardness, hated the spoilage. Art paste is so convenient to prep and store, but isn’t nearly as hard. You’re the papier-mâché pro – I’ll take your advice 🙂

  2. Wayne Thiebaud rocks! And what kids wouldn’t love ice cream-themed art projects?

    • Hi Rach
      Agreed! W.T. cake and pie projects rock too. Kids always tell me they are getting hungry after seeing all his cake paintings. 🙂

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