Designing A Cake For A Client When You .. Can't Draw?? Lol

Business By My_Little_Cake_Shop Updated 8 Jul 2011 , 6:33pm by scp1127

My_Little_Cake_Shop Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 1:58pm
post #1 of 20

Hi ladies,

I do some free hand drawing every now and then for things that aren't that hard. But to draw a cake design for a client? I can't do a decent sketch to save my life! lol

I end up explaining the design and talking way more than drawing. How do you deal with a problem like this? Most people want a design they can sign off on but unfortunatly I cant give them that most of the time. Many of them just look at past cakes I have done and say ok just do whatever you want (they trust my taste). Some want a design! and are picky about it!

Do you have someone else sketch your cakes or do you do it yourself?

19 replies
bobwonderbuns Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 2:04pm
post #2 of 20

Doug has tons of sketches in the galleries -- I use whichever one I need and do LOTS of notes on the client's copy. If there's one you don't see, ask him and he'll be happy to accommodate you. icon_biggrin.gif

imagenthatnj Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 2:14pm
post #3 of 20

I don't design cakes or bake frequently, but I work in graphic design. What I think you could do is have printed sheets with templates in round, mixed, square, etc. that you can fill in or color and add flowers or whatever else you need to add. After you have the shape background, the rest might be a lot easier.

Kind of like this (of course you could also buy design software for cakes, but I think those are limiting too).

And you could look at your own cakes and practice sketching your usual flowers, stripes, etc.

LNW Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 8:48pm
post #4 of 20

I second Doug, he's awesome. I've got a round and square wedding cake template he put together for someone else a million years ago saved on my computer. When I'm planning out a cake design I print one of those off and sketch in the details I'm thinking of in the colors I'm considering etc. I think the hardest part of doing the sketch is actually drawing the cake form itself. If it makes you feel any better I have a degree in Art History and took a gazillion art classes and I still use Doug's templates icon_biggrin.gif

shanter Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 9:19pm
post #5 of 20

Could someone provide a link to Doug's sketches/tamplates/designs, please? I can't find them. Where does CC put sketches?

bobwonderbuns Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 9:21pm
post #6 of 20

Search the galleries under templates or username Doug.

imagenthatnj Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 9:24pm
post #7 of 20

There's a gallery called Sketches & Templates with nice stuff, but for some reason I can only get to find it by searching on google!

Here's the link. Hope it works.

sweetcakes Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 2:47am
post #8 of 20

while it is nice to be able to draw dimensionally you dont have to. cakes are just a matter of rectangles on top of each other when we look at them straight on. start off by drawing rectangles. if its a round cake then you can just make a note to the side that the tiers are round.

yummy_in_my_tummy Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 3:24am
post #9 of 20

My_Little_Cake_Shop, I have the same exact problem. Drawing the basic shape of the cake is no problem for me - if it is for you, you can always use those templates the other posts refer to. My problem though (and it sounds like you are having the same issue) is when I need to draw the flowers, or the scroll work, or characters, etc. It always ends up looking like a third grader drew it!

So when I tell my clients that I'll work up a sketch, I just casually mention that my sketches are total rough sketches and that I can't draw to save my life! They usually laugh about it and we move on. At least with a sketch - even if it's not the Mona Lisa, they can at least get a basic idea of what you see in your head icon_smile.gif

leah_s Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 3:50am
post #10 of 20

Meh . . . I draw stick cakes.

funpets Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 4:16am
post #11 of 20

i cant draw too,but thanks for all the links.

Annabakescakes Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 5:32am
post #12 of 20

I draw stick cakes too, I just laugh at myself a lot and go with it. Doesn't seem to bother anyone.

scp1127 Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 5:57am
post #13 of 20

Graph paper! I can't draw either. I draw the cake to scale on one sheet. The scale drawing will have the basic design and placement. Then on subsequent sheets, I use the actual size of the tier and plan the elements true to size. For example, if the tier plus fondant is 4 1/4", I draw a line on the next page down 4 1/4" and then draw the element. I calculate the circumference (with fondant) and plan the design around the cake. When the pages are done, I use colored pencils to roughly shade. This not only helps the client "see" the cake, but all of my measurements are done ahead of time. More graph paper is used for templates. When the cake is done, all of the templates and the drawings go in an envelope. So, for example, the next time I need diamonds, two high, slightly elongated, on an eight inch tier, I have the calculations plus the template.

indydebi Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 8:33am
post #14 of 20

I never drew cakes at all. The closest I ever got was a "stick cake" made in excel by outlining the boxes (cells). No bride ever asked about it. no comments were ever made about it. this also meant I never had the issue of "what if they take my drawing to another baker?"

I wrote a narrative next to each tier that described what was going to happen on that tier.

I dont' draw. I dont' pretend to. I never needed to.

My_Little_Cake_Shop Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 3:10pm
post #15 of 20

I didnt realize the topic had replies! weird!
Anyway thanks everyone! It really is frustrating sometimes! I think a software or some templates will do me good. I appreciate all your help icon_smile.gif

luckylibra Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 4:39pm
post #16 of 20

I am glad to see I am not the only one who can not draw... I wondered since the cakes you all do are so incredibly artistic if naturally most of you draw well also. I used the microsoft paint once to make shapes and then add some rough graphics to give someone an idea.. but glad to know I don't have to learn to draw.. icon_smile.gif

LNW Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 8:51pm
post #17 of 20

Im actually a much better artist with other mediums then I am with cake. Its just that cake is so much more of a challenge with the time constraints then clay or paint and I like that. And my family appreciates when I spend hours working on a cake because they get to eat it afterwards. A painting just hangs on the wall and the bowl sits on the counter collecting dust or if its lucky chocolate candies icon_wink.gif And they dont appreciate the time I put into those things.

I have to make a sketch because Ive got to see it to make it happen. Its always been one of my downfalls as an artist. I was always envious of those students in my studio classes who could draw from memory. I always had to have a still life or something there for me to look at.

I know Ive read on her several times some of the best decorators on this site cant draw anything more then stick figures. But they can sculpt the most amazing fondant/gumpaste figures Ive ever seen. Funny how that works huh?

traci_doodle Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 12:19am
post #18 of 20

Okay, I'm totally posting to save this thread! I have wondered this very same thing, since I can't draw to save my life! And I almost never copy a design I see, it's usually a piece of this or an idea from that. Luckily I don't charge and my friends trust me. icon_smile.gif

VanillaCoke Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 6:08pm
post #19 of 20

Here's what I do when I can't find a template or I nred something I can't freehand. Pull up a picture on your computer of whatever shape or pattern, etc, you want. Turn the lights off. Tape your paper over the picture and trace icon_smile.gif it's just like elementary school icon_smile.gif last week I needed a sketch of a five tier offset hexagon cake- googled it, traced that strange shape, and then freehanded in my design. My husband found it later and he says "Dear, you're so artistic!" I just snorted. icon_smile.gif

scp1127 Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 6:33pm
post #20 of 20

Why can't you just print it, size it, and trace it?

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