Freehanding...

Decorating By TexasSugar Updated 24 Jul 2010 , 2:04am by JulieMN

TexasSugar Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 7:02pm
post #1 of 22

So who has advice on how to let go, mentally, and just free hand something?

I suck at freehand piping. Or maybe it is just a hang out in my mind on it. But I am one of those people that even though I don't want to I seem to think of everything symmetrically. (Im the kind that measures to hang pictures.)

I look at cool cake designs on here that aren't exact all the way around and think "Oh I love that, wish I could do that" and yet I know if I tried I'd get hung up on trying to make it all just so so.

I have this idea for a cake, found a graphic that fits what I envisioned, and while looking at it I think it would look cool painted on a cake. But then that would require me to go totally freehand and I'm not sure if I could do that, even though we are talking a swirly kind of pattern. I know if I piped it I would do like I did on my pink and black cake and press in the pattern to follow when piping, but to paint it that wouldnt work.

I don't have an over head projector. Id have to price them but since I dont do a ton of cakes it isnt something Id want to spend a bunch of money on. And I cant think of any other way to get a pattern on a surface that wouldnt change the surface or show up under painting (like the pin prick or piping gel).

21 replies
Doug Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 7:07pm
post #2 of 22

why get an overhead??

use this to justify a

PROJECTOR!

as in TV

as in 100"+ DVD viewing (take that flat screens!)
(now you may have to move the stuff off the wall to get enough space, but then your fav. star near life size.....)


oh and it works on cake too.

LuluSweetArt Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 7:24pm
post #3 of 22

Why not just do a test run? See if you can before you tell yourself that you can't? I've found that painting freehand is so much easier than piping freehand. So give it a try? What's the worst thing that can happen? If it just won't work...here's what I would suggest: trace the pattern on to wax paper using gel color and water...the water will give you enough time to rub it on to your fondant, then you can go back and paint over the "sketch" to clean up your lines. Good luck!

TexasSugar Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 8:26pm
post #4 of 22

Okay Doug, for some reason I'm not picturing this??

Lulu, I'm trying to talk myself in to a test run. icon_smile.gif

Doug Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 8:33pm
post #5 of 22

a video projector.

it can hook to cable tv or dvd player or computer/laptop.

aim it the wall for brad pitt, team whichever, etc.

aim at the cake for tracing scrolls and stuff.

indydebi Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 8:33pm
post #6 of 22

Oh you poor, poor children of "modern" cake world! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Where are my "oldie but goodie" friends who, like me, HAD to learn to do designs by freehanding? Who didn't have the benefit of all of these super cool tools, videos and other modern gadgets that make it so much easier?

If you couldn't look at a photo and just figure it out, then you didn't make cakes. And that's all there was to it. That's how the 'talent' was weeded out; that's how the kids were separated from the big-girl-panty-wearers; it's how it was determined how motivated a person was to achieve the goal!!! thumbs_up.gif

Texas, pick up that bag or that brush or whatever it is that you're needing to use to freehand something and JUST DO IT! If you mess up, then you start over. And if you mess that up, then you start over again.

Don't make me stop this car and come down there!!! icon_twisted.gif

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that will not work." ----- Thomas Edison

Doug Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 8:42pm
post #7 of 22

hey -- I'm using the cake to justify the TV!!!!

personally, my hands get in the way of the image when tracing -- so freehanding it anyway

tesso Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 8:52pm
post #8 of 22

YOU CAN DO IT !!! I have confidence in your ability to freehand. Just get out your design and give it a go. Remember to tell yourself that you are just having fun. dont over stress it.

I love freehand and I think you will like it too. Try doing a symetrical freehand design to get started, a little something that you might be more comfortable with at first. thumbs_up.gif

TexasSugar Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 8:56pm
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


Texas, pick up that bag or that brush or whatever it is that you're needing to use to freehand something and JUST DO IT! If you mess up, then you start over. And if you mess that up, then you start over again.

Don't make me stop this car and come down there!!! icon_twisted.gif




Yes Mom! icon_redface.gif

I know it is a mental hang up. Like I said I get out the tape measure, yard stick and a pencil when I hang things on a wall.

Visually I totally love the odd arrangements of things, but when it comes to doing it my brain just thinks it all needs to line up just right.

I'm going to try to break past the mental part of it and see what happens. I really have to work on my cakes this weekend or I won't have anything to take the convention with me.

sugalips Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 5:03pm
post #10 of 22

First: I am not an artist thumbsdown.gif BUT start simple, put a picture under a piece of glass or plastic, get out your colored buttercream, coloring or whatever medium you're using and "trace" it. Wipe it off it it sucks....quickly! icon_lol.gif I just bought a DVD on ebay for "one stroke" painting. I can't wait to watch it!! I absolutely love how beautiful the cakes look when they are painted.

michel30014 Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 8:44pm
post #11 of 22

Yes Mom! icon_redface.gif

I know it is a mental hang up. Like I said I get out the tape measure, yard stick and a pencil when I hang things on a wall.

Visually I totally love the odd arrangements of things, but when it comes to doing it my brain just thinks it all needs to line up just right.

I'm going to try to break past the mental part of it and see what happens. I really have to work on my cakes this weekend or I won't have anything to take the convention with me.[/quote]




You guys are sooo funny! I am absoltely positve TexasSugar that you can do this!! Just have at it!! But, yes, I know how you feel. I have that same mental thing going on with freehanded stuff. But, been trying to get past that and just practice it! Have fun and I"m sure you will do it!!

saberger Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 9:10pm
post #12 of 22

I am the same way. I draw stick figures and my 6 1/2 year old is better than I am. I have my tricks to get certain things looking the way I want them to. BUT I am going through a phase right now that was brought about by the cricut, believe it or not.

I am determined to master piping! Freehand, 'old school', everything, anything kind of piping. I would work on a flat surface (parchment paper or whatever) and then graduated to working at an angle, then JUST managed to get to upright side position (make sense). And I practice on cake dummies covered in cling wrap. But I still use some help. My current cake has circles, so I lightly imprint it using a cookie cutter so I can get it symmetrical...or somewhat symmetrical! icon_wink.gif I'll see if I can post part of it.

I always chickened out when I had to freehand things, but I am improving due to practice and determination. You can do it too! What is the worst that can happen? Just don't do it for a paid cake if you aren't comfy with it.
LL

Crabbabs Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 9:14pm
post #13 of 22

I'm not sure how much these tips will help, but I'll throw them out there.

When an artist paints a painting, many usually start with a pencil outline as a guide when they start painting. I would start out with a very very pale color (yellow, or another color in the design) and map out what you want where. I even use plain water sometimes and it stays wet long enough for me. Then go back and fill in more detail until you have what you want.
When looking at the original, make sure to look at the white space.

It sounds like you are doing a pattern, so this might not apply - but in my experience, many people don't relate what they see to what they know. For example: everyone knows a chair has four legs of equal length, but when you see a chair from an angle the legs do not look the same length. When you draw something, you have to draw it like you see it. Look at the white space and the shapes between objects in addition to the actual objects.

And like everyone has said before, just try it. Jump in and do it! BUT, if it does not turn out right the first time - don't throw it out right away - look at it and try to see what you don't like about it and do it differently the next time.

Ok, enough with the rambling. Good luck!

chellescountrycakes Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 9:28pm
post #14 of 22

Since I suck at piping period. (even my crumb coat piping is awful) I am SOOO not gonna tell you anything, except, your library will rent you an overhead icon_wink.gif

TexasSugar Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 9:39pm
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by saberger

You can do it too! What is the worst that can happen? Just don't do it for a paid cake if you aren't comfy with it.




Well this is for one of my convention cakes. So not a paid cake but still... icon_wink.gif

Right now I'm still debating on doing the design by piping or painting and there is a part of me that is thinking of doing a combo of both. I'm trying to pin down the details of the cake so I can make my plan of action this weekend but instead I keep coming up with more "well I could do it this way, or that way or that ways". Sometimes there are just too many different ways to do it. The two people I usually run my ideas by are busy today, and I dont really want to post it on the public board yet. While I dont mind people copying ideas, I dont want someone to do it before I get a chance to finish it and take it to ICES with me, ya know? Maybe tonight Ill just make a list of the different ways I could do it, close my eyes and point to one.

Debi, don't get mad okay? But I did buy a back up plan last night at Michaels. They had this little projector that was $25 and I had a 40% off coupon. My goal is not to use it and return it un-opened, but if push comes to shove

I figured if I had a Plan B, Plan A would go smoother. Good theory, huh?

The pattern Im doing really shouldnt be hard, it is swirls and curly Qs and Im going to try to shut off my brain and not try to make them all perfect. Tonight I think I will take some fondant and roll it out and lay it over the dummy and play.

My only problem is that Im afraid once I get on the real dummy I will screw up and then I will have to change plans around. Im using Crystal Colors powder for the color I want to do. Ill know how much color I will have left over after I make the fondant, depends on how dark I make it. But since I only have one jar Im thinking there wont be enough left to start completely over if need be. And one of the colors I will be piping/painting is a darker green, so while I know you can clean off some mistakes Im not sure if that dark of a color will come off cleanly.

Thank you everyone for the advice, the support, the suggestions, encouragement and the kick in the a$$. I needed it!

Kitagrl Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 9:40pm
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Oh you poor, poor children of "modern" cake world! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Where are my "oldie but goodie" friends who, like me, HAD to learn to do designs by freehanding? Who didn't have the benefit of all of these super cool tools, videos and other modern gadgets that make it so much easier?

If you couldn't look at a photo and just figure it out, then you didn't make cakes. And that's all there was to it. That's how the 'talent' was weeded out; that's how the kids were separated from the big-girl-panty-wearers; it's how it was determined how motivated a person was to achieve the goal!!! thumbs_up.gif

Texas, pick up that bag or that brush or whatever it is that you're needing to use to freehand something and JUST DO IT! If you mess up, then you start over. And if you mess that up, then you start over again.

Don't make me stop this car and come down there!!! icon_twisted.gif

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that will not work." ----- Thomas Edison




I'm not old but I learned that way. icon_smile.gif I made SO many sheet cakes just starting out, by drawing something with a toothpick on the cake (while looking at a picture) and then filling in with buttercream.....

saberger Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 9:45pm
post #17 of 22

One of the things I learned from Sugarshack is that if you make a mistake, to use some vodka and a clean cloth to run it off. I did that last night on the fondant where I had piped the crookedest circle ever in purple on white fondant. It worked! Not sure if that works for crystal colors, but you can try. It feels good when you can erase mistakes icon_smile.gif

And if you DO make a mistake....will anybody really know? Could you make it be a part of the design?

TexasSugar Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 9:56pm
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by saberger

One of the things I learned from Sugarshack is that if you make a mistake, to use some vodka and a clean cloth to run it off. I did that last night on the fondant where I had piped the crookedest circle ever in purple on white fondant. It worked! Not sure if that works for crystal colors, but you can try. It feels good when you can erase mistakes icon_smile.gif

And if you DO make a mistake....will anybody really know? Could you make it be a part of the design?




I've used everclear before for small things that I was able to clean up quickly. It is good to know there is an eraser when need be.

indydebi Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 11:51pm
post #19 of 22

One thing I have learned over the years is that a talent to draw on paper (or a lack of!) does not necessarily transfer to a talent to draw on icing (or a lack of!)

My sister and my ex-husband are both very good canvas artists. They can paint beautifully. I always felt like a nobody when looking at their work because I can't draw worth a crap!

Until I discovered a canvas of icing. icon_smile.gif

I discovered I can do almost anything freehanded in icing. But if were to try to draw it with a pencil on paper? No way, Chuck! It just isn't going to happen!

So please .... don't think because you can or can't draw on paper that you can or can't draw on icing. I can tell you from experience that it's just not the same thing.

ArtsyLady Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 12:19am
post #20 of 22

I didn't even really know you could do it any other way until I found this website. Being completely self taught is the easiest way to learn something the hard way. icon_smile.gif Two days ago I found a tutorial for the frozen buttercream transfer and my eyes were opened! I'd been drawing everything for years! But to answer your question about piping, I usually sketch it out on the icing with a wooden skewer, lightly, before I start with the icing. My favorite thing to pipe is loops and swirls, coiling gracefully over a cake. I hate piping dots. I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns.

sberryp Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 1:23am
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Oh you poor, poor children of "modern" cake world! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Where are my "oldie but goodie" friends who, like me, HAD to learn to do designs by freehanding? Who didn't have the benefit of all of these super cool tools, videos and other modern gadgets that make it so much easier?

If you couldn't look at a photo and just figure it out, then you didn't make cakes. And that's all there was to it. That's how the 'talent' was weeded out; that's how the kids were separated from the big-girl-panty-wearers; it's how it was determined how motivated a person was to achieve the goal!!! thumbs_up.gif

Texas, pick up that bag or that brush or whatever it is that you're needing to use to freehand something and JUST DO IT! If you mess up, then you start over. And if you mess that up, then you start over again.

Don't make me stop this car and come down there!!! icon_twisted.gif

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that will not work." ----- Thomas Edison




I love it! lol, Now I am going to have to use the advice.

JulieMN Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 2:04am
post #22 of 22

[quote="TexasSugar"] I figured if I had a Plan B, Plan A would go smoother. Good theory, huh?
[quote]

Seems like a good strategy to avert the ravages of Murphy's Law.....

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