I recently attended my first class at Pretty Witty Cakes in East Sussex, it was a cake painting class taught by Natasha Collins. You may well have visited her blog Amelie's House and seen her amazing work. She's very talented and paints the most amazing cakes. She also runs Nevie-Pie Cakes where you can buy one of her works of art.
It was a really interesting day as I haven't really painted on cakes much, although I did give it a go a few weeks ago with my Russian Doll Cakes. However, the Russian dolls were more a case of filling in blocks of colour and didn't really require much artistic talent.
On the day of the class Natasha took us through step by step, showing us how to create our flowery cakes. We mainly concentrated on painting dog roses and daisies. To make up the 'paint' is quite simple, it's just boiled water and paste colouring, we used sugarflair colours which are really the best available. Previously when I've mixed up colours I've used alcohol dipping solution which also works well.
The secret to creating effective designs is to add depth by using lighter and darker shades. The good news is, you can also erase mistakes by adding water to the area with your brush.
We started the day by painting some cupcake toppers, which were little circles of paste dried overnight leaving them ready to paint on the next day. These were for practise before we moved onto our big dummy cake. The first thing was to mark out the rough area where our flowers would go in order to make sure they were properly spaced.
To start with painting can be a little frustrating and we were all rather critical of our work but when you step back and look at the finished article as a whole it really does look effective. I didn't quite master the depth of colour but it wasn't a bad start.
Natasha uses a variety of sources for her inspiration, however one of which was a book called The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady which you can on amazon for £2.49 or you can buy it used for 1p plus postage! I may well order a copy so I can get practising my painting skills.
As I mentioned this was my first time at Pretty Witty Cakes, the classes are run by Suzi and they're hosted in her home in the 'Pretty Witty Workshop'. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and there's even a little shop...I can never resist a few sneaky purchases! I think in the future I'd definitely consider another of the Pretty Witty courses...there are plenty to choose from.