I am trying to paint swirls on buttercream using luster dust (silver and pearl mixed). I mixed the vodka with the dust, and can paint just fine on a plate, LOL, but when I try to paint on the buttercream, it isn't working well.
The effect I'm trying for is similar to what boween did on this cake:
I'm guessing my brush is too stiff, but don't know for sure if that's the problem. It seems to be making a groove in the icing, and not leaving much of the color behind. I went to Michael's and got some brushes in the art brush department, and got the softest feeling ones I could find, with synthetic bristles.
Luckily, this is just a practice weekend, and I have two weeks before I have to do the "real" cake, but I would appreciate any advice from those who have done it before. Specifically about what type of brush to use, but also anything else you think I need to know!
I was unable to get the picture up but I would say you just need to
1. use a soft bristle brush
2. let you buttercream dry well before you paint it.
This is what decorators I know do. Haven't had the occasion to do myself but have been there when they did it. Hope this helps.
You'll have much better flow and color adherence if you use lemon extract rather than just vodka. The extract has a higher alcohol content--84% or 168 Proof--than the vodka and the oil helps hold the color on the brush better. No flavor is left behind.
If you're painting on buttercream, you need to use a hard crusting recipe--generally, the all Crisco one--and it should be super dry. If you're painting on fondant, it also helps if the fondant has set up a bit. If either icing is too soft, you'll get grooves.
I prefer natural brushes because natural hairs taper to a finer point, equalling a softer application. Only the very expensive synthetic bristle brushes can achieve this.
Thanks for the tips!
I went back and got a couple of natural brushes, and let the buttercream harden more, and had much better luck today.
So far I've just been painting on cookies with a thin coat of buttercream on them, for practice. I had the cookies left over from our last project and wanted to use them instead of doing too many practice cakes.
I used the lemon extract instead of vodka, and it was much easier to paint and get an even coat, although when I ate one of the cookies I could taste a faint lemon flavor. Maybe I'll use lemon filling in the cake when I do the real one!