Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sketchy Cake Designs

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When most everything you make is a custom design, you have to make a lot of sketches.  The only thing I like about recreating an exact copy of a cake is that I don't have to draw it out.  I can decorate cakes, I can't draw :(  My art teacher in high school told me that most people that are great artists, whether drawing, painting or sculpting, don't just wake up great.  She said that for 98% of artists, it's a skill that you learn over time.  I really don't think that occurred to me until then.  Now I know that it is true in most everything we do.  Things that used to take me forever are now easier.  I'm still pretty pitiful at sketching cake designs though.

Customers have to see a sketch of what they are getting because most people can't visualize all the things they are hearing.  It helps me too!  I can see the general idea and make changes when booking the cake instead of the day I'm decorating it.  The better the sketch, the easier it is for someone to "see" it.  Also, it helps bakers to come across as professional or not so much.  It is something we have to do, so we'd better get used to it!

Click to Enlarge  Image

Currently, I have PowerPoint templates that I've made and I "draw" on those.  If I can color them in the program, or use clip art, it does help a little, but it's still not at all realistic.  I've been trying the Tiered Caker iPad app and printing those out to draw on.  I really like the realism that they show, but I can't do "weird" things in the program, like adding a skull tier or flowers as a separators.  Also, when I'm just trying to show texture or white on white decorations, I have to pencil them in and that makes it very hard for them to visualize the final cake.

I'm including two of my current sketches so that you can "grade" me and tell what you think I could do differently.  I recently watched a CakeFu by the awesome Liz Marek about digital cake sketching.  She has lots of video's and even a Facebook page for Cake Sketching.  I really like what she does and I wish I had that kind of time just to make a sketch.  She said that it can easily take an hour per sketch.  Like I said, I want to be able to do that, but it just doesn't seem to be practical.  Am I just whining and need to get over it?  I'm clearly not going to be able to draw it free hand, so something has to give.  Keep in mind, these sketches aren't "bad" ones!  Thanks so much for your input!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! And of course I use TieredCaker since my husband is the developer (and it's awesome!) I think your sketches are awesome! I am also a member of the digital cake sketching group on Facebook and I am learning so much but wow, graphics programs can be so hard to learn!! I'm currently importing the templates from the app (so I have the right size and colors) then using Photoshop touch to add my digital elements (on the iPad) I would also love some spacer options in the app and I know they are in the plans for an update! So maybe combining the two (TieredCaker and one of the many digital sketch apps) will help you achieve some of the more custom sketches in a faster time frame? There is a great tool in photoshop touch called the scribble selection tool that is so perfect for cutting out digital elements for the cake. So you could easily cut out that skull and apply it to the cake. I can send you a link for an awesome youtube tutorial if you can't find one. Sorry this is so long! We should definitely talk digital sketching because I am trying to learn as well.


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