Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hand-Painted Cookie Technique Prototypes

Hi, Friends!  I had to much fun playing with cookies this week.  I usually have some sort of deadline by which I must get cookies done, but I made a batch just to play with and to try different techniques on.  It was much more relaxing and fun.  I had extra icing from my Easter cookies {pics to come!} and fondant from a cake I made for the Robotics Club {pics also to come!}  So, I just whipped up half a batch of dough and started playing.  I had wanted to try using food coloring gels along with vodka to thin it for painting.  You can see I had a blast.  You should definitely give it a try.  The good thing is... painting on cookies is stress free for the most part.  If you make a mistake, you can wipe it off with a paper towel and some vodka or a Q-Tip and some vodka.  And cookies aren't taken as seriously as a painting.  You can just eat it if you don't like it and you can add some polyurethane and keep them forever if you love it.
For this project, I used Wilton Food Color Gels
Wilton food-safe paint brushes
Cheap vodka
Art inspiration from the internet
I wanted my cookies to look like watercolors, but the food coloring doesn't act like watercolors, so I had to find some paintings online because you can't really get the gels to spread like a watercolor paint does.  So, I tried to create that look by layering the food coloring to mimic watercolor.
You can see in this first set of cookies that there are a lot of colors layered on top of each other.
I wanted these cookies to have a shabby chic feel to them.  The flowers in the corners are made with fondant and a mold.  I painted over them a bit with tan to take away the bubblegum pink and stark white.
If you have any questions regarding this technique, leave a comment and I will get back to you with my answer or a link to someone who explains it much better than I do.  Also keep reading because I have a lot of information below.

For the following cookie, I used a rubber stamp which had never been used with ink.  I'm not going to lie to you.  This technique is really hard to do and a bit frustrating.  You have to have a perfectly flat cookie, the black food coloring has to go onto the stamp just right and you have to press it onto the cookie just right or you get a big mess.  I tried several stamps today and many of them resulted in cookies for the kids to eat.  It is fun when it works though. I let the black food coloring dry and then painted the stamped image.  It is pretty and very delicate looking.  Worth a try, I think. If your image has small parts that didn't show up, you can take a fine paint brush and fix the lines.
The following cookie is completely hand painted but let me tell you about the scalloped edges.  I used two different sizes of cookie cutters.  A 4-inch scalloped edge circle for the cookie and a 3.5-inch scalloped circle for rolled fondant.  The fondant is my favorite canvas of the day!  I made the fondant using a recipe I found on Pinterest.  This is the link if you'd like to make it.  It was super easy to make and handled nicely. You can keep it for a really long time too, so you can use it on many projects. 
The reason I liked painting on fondant is that it absorbs nicely and the colors didn't run at all.  Try it! You will like it!

This butterfly below was done using stamps as well.  The stamps are a good way to get a basic shape down so that you can hand paint it.   This one is stamped onto fondant.

For the butterfly below, I sprinkled the fondant with color using my brush and flicking color onto it.  I hand painted the bird but the swirls are stamped.   You can see that the swirls aren't perfect, but I like them like that.  They actually look more like they are water-colored this way.  My suggesting is to stamp first and then paint because if the stamps don't turn out to your liking, you won't waste your time hand painting.

This is the same technique of hand painting and stamping but this one is on icing as the background.  I iced the cookie first and let it dry for a couple of hours before painting.   If you are wondering why you use vodka, it is because water would make the icing sticky and melt it.  Vodka, as I understand it, evaporates.  There is no alcohol flavor left when it is dry, but from what I understand you can also use a lemon extract because it also evaporates.... if you prefer to not use alcohol.  On the other hand, if you would like something that evaporates even better, you can use Ever Clear which is like 98 proof.  It evaporates very well, but I don't even think you can buy it in my state.

Hand stamped and repainted chicken. 

For this butterfly, I wanted another shabby chic feel, so I stamped a cookie that didn't have perfect icing.  It was a bit bumpy because the cookie under it was bumpy. (Not sure why that happened when I baked it!)  I stamped it with a postcard stamp and then painted around the edges with a bit of black and brown.

This was one of my favorite techniques.  And I made it up myself.  The surface is black fondant which I wanted to paint so that it looked like chalk.  I used white food coloring (Wilton) and it wasn't turning out like I wanted, so I rubbed a really small amount of Crisco onto the surface.  This made the food coloring look just like chalk!  I wasn't sure if it would dry either, but it did!

This one is messy, but I still had fun making it.  I would do another one like this if I had more black fondant.  I may even do a whole chalkboard set eventually.  I used a stamp for the words.  They turned out really badly, so I painted over them.  There was enough outline to make it work.

This is my mixed media cookie.  LOL!  I used fondant, a mold and watercolor techniques along with some edible glitter for the edging and the center of the flowers.

I love the way the next one turned out.  Interestingly, the little screws look really smudgy in the picture, but they don't in real life.  Hmmm...It may be because they were still wet when I took these and the light may have hit the liquid and showed it.  Oh well, you get the idea.

This final one was painted to look like a watercolor on icing.  I used a picture that I had found on Pinterest as inspiration.  If you give this a try, go to Google images or Pinterest and search for watercolor paintings and start painting.   You can find special food-safe brushes and the Wilton food coloring gels at any Walmart, Michaels or Joann's Fabrics. 

A cookie decorating selfie!  After 8 hours of cookie decorating, I am happy to be done!

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