Hi! I have recently started experimenting with gumpaste flowers. I find it pretty easy to work with, and made some nice looking roses. I did have a question about shading the flowers though. I see lots of pictures of all sorts of gumpaste flowers, and they have shaded areas to make them look more natural. What on earth are they using to get that effect? I have some shimmery dust in several colors, but when I put it on, the flowers just look too shiny. What type of coloring should I be using? I also tried chalk. I'm trying to get everything to look realistic. Do I put the shading on as I go, or when the flower is finished?
My other question is about the leaves. The green I have looks very fake for leaves. I want to make the leaves look real. Can I buy a dye that is not such a bright green? What's the best way to get a natural looking leaf?
Thanks for any advice!!
You can buy petal dusts that aren't shimmery, I think you might have the lustre dusts. Get one maybe a couple of shades darker than the rose you make and it'll look really natural. Or on a yellow rose an orange colour on the tips of the petals looks lovely.
The same works for the leaves, you can colour them green then dust to give it different shades. There are lots of different greens that are dark and look realistic. With rose leaves you can dust the edges with a burgandy colour, that can look nice too. Also try and roll your gumpaste very thin and dry your leaves over an uneven surface, I save the trays out of chocolate boxes...it's such a chore eating the chocs first!
Thank You! That helps a lot! I must have the lustre dust then. I know it looked way too shiny when I used it. I will have to make another trip to the craft store soon to look for the other petal dust. So sad that I have to go back to the craft store!
Do I use the dust dry, or wet my brush first?
I use artists chalk because it's a lot cheaper than petal dust.
There are different shades of green food color that you can get, Americolor makes a bunch, and Wilton has a couple of darker greens besides the leaf green and kelly green that you see everywhere. I think one of their darker greens is juniper green. To make leaves realistic, you have to add the veins that real leaves have. You can buy cutters that come with a veiner, or try to draw them on yourself with a toothpick or veining tool.
or you can use powder food color to do your dusting!
You're right, the veiners are a good thing to have.
Use the dusts dry, wait until your rose is completely dry too or the dust might go blotchy. For ivy leaves I did use the green as a paint my mixing it with a bit of clear alcohol which with evaporate and dry.
Here's a close up of dust on just simple pulled flowers, yellow in the middle and pink on the edges.
Thank You! I'm going to look around the craft store, and pick up some more supplies. Will the chalk/petal dust make the flower look dull? I've seen some that are shiny...almost like it has a glossy finish. The dust I have made it iridescent.....not shiny glossy.....does that make sense!? LOL!
I'm doing a Mother's Day cake, and this is my first time trying to make flowers....I'm hoping I can pull this off! I'm great at sculpting, but coloring these flowers has been a challenge!
You can steam the flowers after you put the chalk or petal dust on to give them a shiny finish. Just boil a pan of water and hold the flowers by the wire over the steam until they look dewy. Don't touch them until they're dry or they'll get finger marks.
Thank you so much! I didn't know you could steam them! That's great info! I couldn't find much helpful when I looked online today. I'm excited to try all this out now!! YAY!
Go to Jen Dontz's site and she has a leaf veiner that works awesome for leaves! Its double sided so you can sandwich the cut out inbetween and have both sides done at once! And it works great for the twiddle method (applying gumpaste to the wire and twirling the wire and pulling down on the gumpaste so that it covers the wire). Once you've twiddled and put your wire down and then your cut out, you get the two pieces and smoosh them together. It gives an awesome realistic leaf! I also suggest using petal dust. Not sure about the chalk, it should be food safe and not sure what your buying is. I like using green bean, forest green, apple green, and moss green for my leaves. If your doing a rose leaf then a touch of plum on some of the ends too.
On the coloring of the flowers, some people color the actual paste first and then make the flower. THen go back and use darker shades for the centers and the parts of the petals that are bent down. Like for my red roses, I air brush them red first then let dry for 24 hrs. Then I go back and hit it with plum in the center and under the petals. Ive had very good comments on how my flowers look realistic. (Im not tooting my own horn, or trying not to toot!! Just trying to give some suggestions!)
Thanks a ton for posting the colors you used for leaves! I'm going to check out Jen Dontz's site now! I have 1 leaf veiner, but I like the idea of the one you talked about! Sounds way easier!
Yikes! I had no idea there was so much to learn! I bet your roses look awesome!
Not sure about the chalk, it should be food safe and not sure what your buying is.
The chalk that I use is non-toxic, but not intended for food. Once a wire is put into a piece of gumpaste, that piece of gumpaste is no longer food (if it ever was ). I use non-toxic markers on gumpaste too. The chalk method is what we were taught before petal dust was available here.
Speaking of wire....If I'm going to put the flowers directly in/on the cake....like a bouquet....can I use sucker sticks instead? I was worried about the ick factor with wire.
You can't put wire into the cake.
I've tried making flowers on lollipop sticks, but they don't bend like wire when you're arranging them, and I'm also used to making the little hook on the end to catch the gumpaste. I've used lollipops for the centers of roses before and that worked a little better, but you have to use clips to hang them upside down to dry.
I make the flowers on wire, then tape them into a spray and stick the taped end into a posy pic or a straw that I insert into the cake. For a single flower, I use a hollow plastic lollipop stick to cover the part of the wire that goes in the cake. Some people dip the wire in chocolate. I've done that before but I wasn't pleased with the coverage I got, it didn't seem like enough.
I agree on using the posy pick. I'm glad to see someone advocating against wires in cakes. i know some people don't seem to care!
Thanks! I'll try that! I just thought sticking wire into the cake seemed a little icky...
I've also read here on CC that you can insert your wires into coffee stirring straws so the wires aren't touching the cake. HTH