Painting a Unicorn Cake
Unicorns are a real, serious thing right now. I can't spend a day without them popping up all over my social media accounts. Then I went looking for a little something to paint... here is me running fast to catch up with the bandwagon. On the advice of the wise Kerrie; I shall unicorn all the things, starting with a cute hand painted cake.
Now people can get a little funny when I talk about presentation boards, to cover or not to cover. It really is down to your preference but seriously, I feel like you've spent hours making an awesome cake, why chuck it on a plain store bought boring silver board? Right? Galaxy presentation board it is! Easy done with some rose spirit, Edible Art Paints and a toothbrush.
The beauty of watercolour is that you don't have to do much. Simply mix the paints with some rose spirit, dab onto your fondant covered board with a paintbrush. Start with the light colours first and blend all those colours together into a swirly, amazing galaxy. A few flicks of white Edible Art Paint from a toothbrush and boom! Instant, awesome galaxy!
Transferring the Image
If you don't have the skills, the desire or the want to freehand an image onto a cake the Transfer Method is a super quick and easy way to get your design onto a cake. All you need is an image little baking paper, a soft graphite pencil and with your cake you are ready to roll. (Editors note: Graphite is considered Non-Toxic, but not Food Safe. While the amount used for this technique is VERY small, make your own decision on whether you choose to use it, or to use Food Safe Markers instead)
Its just like those days at junior school when you would trace your fave characters into your sketch books and tell everyone how cool you were for doing it freehand (everyone totally knew by the way!). The only difference is the shape of the cake and the materials you are using. Just make sure your cake is dry so you don't put your fingers all through the perfect sides you spent hours getting just right. Simply trace over the image onto the baking paper, flip the image (graphite side down) onto your cake and retrace over the lines, transferring them to your cake.
Oh and it works the exact same way for fonts and is a great way to get an impressive monogram onto the side of a cake.
You can match invitations or write gorgeous names on cakes, paint over with some metallic paint, perfect every time! (Just make sure you remember to do it in reverse when you trace it otherwise when you flip the image it will be backwards!)
If you have transferred the image well it can almost be a paint by numbers job now! Choose colours that work together, lay them out on the bench or paint them as a test run on something else to see if they work together, remember to consider how they blend too. Green next to red can become brown so keep blends in mind.
I used Rolkem dusts mixed with a little Rose Spirit into a runny poster paint consistency to add some serious unicorny colour by using a combination of short and long brush strokes to give the appearance of depth and texture. I then outlined the image with a finer 00 brush and some black Edible Art Paint.
Dusts are awesome to paint with though you have to keep an eye on your mixing making sure they are at the right consistency. Too watery a paint won't have very much pigment and will run right down the side of your cake. Unlike the Edible Art Paints that are premixed and ready to go, you need to mix the dusts yourself. Rose Spirit is a great go to for this and dries super fast. Add a little for a stronger colour and more to create a lighter, watercolour type effect.
My advice when it comes to painting a cake is to relax! Do whatever you need to do to make yourself comfortable and confident, then whatever it is that you attempt will be undoubtably awesome as a result. If you are starting out, find a simple character or image with a limited or no fine detail. Build on your strengths and with some experience and confidence you will be rocking full hand painted cakes in no time!