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.LESSONS IN AIRBRUSHING

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HELP:
PICTURES ON CAKES

Cleaning-taking your AB apart

LESSONS 1 | LESSONS 2 | LESSONS 3 | LESSONS 4 | LESSONS 5

PRODUCTS:
Airbrushes
Airbrush colors - required for AB
Books on airbrushing
Brushes
Buttercream icing
Projector
Stencils
Tapered pallet knife
Tips
Videos

Below is another very easy thing you can do to make scenery cakes.
Use torn pieces of paper towel for making clouds.

NOTES:
Always clean your airbrush out very well using hot water after each use and between color changes. Thorough take-apart cleaning is advised after several uses or if the airbrush "spits".
If you have 'spitting' the cause is either of two things:
  1. It needs cleaning
  2. The needle is bent or blunted slightly. (Sometimes you can smooth the needle with your fingers)
  Sugarcraft keeps airbrush parts in stock.
Dump all leftover coloring into one bottle. All colors = black and you will use a lot of black for outlining.
The most recommended airbrush on the market in this decade has been the AIRMASTER airbrush. It has all the features we need, including the ability to alter pressure. But without the complications of other makes which have tons of parts and are very hard to disassemble/re-assemble for cleaning.

Note from a very well known Airbrush expert/teacher:
, 'save up and buy an Airmaster'. I have had several airbrushes and this one is far superior to the others. I would advise you to NOT buy one from a hobby shop. These are not made for doing cakes and after you fell in love with airbrushing, as I'm sure you will, you would just have to go out and get an Airmaster after all. I have had a lot of students who have come to class with either hobby type airbrushes or one of the other airbrushes (the name of which I will not mention here) but it is made of plastic, and they have purchased an Airmaster when they see the difference in what they are doing and what the students with the Airmaster are doing. The compressor is what makes the biggest difference. The airbrushes that come with a small compressor are ok if you are going to use it a couple of times a year. But if you will be doing cakes for customers with it, get the good one. You will not regret it. And you don't want your customers to be disappointed in your cakes because the color is all speckle because of the small compressor you are using. You want them to come back. And if the cakes look good, they will come back. Again, get the good one! Best of luck, Carole Faxon
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FOR DUSTING GOLD/SILVER ETC:

From Marida: Airmaster. You can airbrush petal dusts through it by adding Everclear to a small bottle of dust. I use the 2 oz. bottles and add one container of the dust. You can practice with the airbrush by using some designed paper towels and filling in the designs. There are also some good books by Carol Faxon on airbrushing.
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From Gearge F: I mix two containers of luster dust or super pearl dust in a 2 ounce plastic bottle and fill with vodka. Shake very well and each time before you fill the well of the airbrush. I use an Airmaster and turn the pressure up when airbrushing with luster dust/vodka mixtures. Be sure to clean your airbrush well each time you use it. So far, I have not had trouble with the needle clogging.
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MORE LESSONS:
Brush up on airbrushing
One of the fastest ways to add color to decorated products is with an airbrush. Follow some general guidelines to achieve the results you want.
 

  • Airbrush un-iced pieces of cake to look like mountains.
  • Use tip No. 22 and an "eee," reverse "eee" motion to pipe the top border.
  • Airbrush a design on unbaked cookies, and outline the design with icing after baking.
  • Use stencils or cookie cutters to airbrush designs on top of iced products, such as large, round cookies.
  • After airbrushing the petals of several flowers, outline them with icing.

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    Color on decorated cakes and cookies is essential. One of the quickest methods of adding color is to use an airbrush. Among the benefits of airbrushing are saved time, labor and costs. The savings are well worth the investment of purchasing an airbrush kit.

    Airbrushes are used for many different industries, so it is important to find an airbrush suitable for cake decorating. The most common airbrush in bakeries is a single-action airbrush. It sprays color as soon as you press the trigger and allows you to adjust the amount of color and the span of spray. The BEST airbrush is the multi-action, which lets you adjust the pressure. We recommend the AIRMASTER. It is manuf. for use with cakes.

    After purchasing your airbrush, keep the manual in case you need to replace parts. I suggest keeping a spare needle on hand as well. A bent or burred needle will splatter the color or distribute it unevenly. Keeping an airbrush clean also is extremely important. Follow the manufacturer's directions on how to properly clean your airbrush. You must use edible food coloring specially formulated for an airbrush to prevent damaging it.

    General airbrush guidelines
    As with any other type of technique, the key to quality results is practice. To begin, practice on paper towels or with children's coloring books. Then, move to iced products, such as cakes, cookies and cupcakes.

    When airbrushing, remember a few general-guidelines. For narrow, straight lines, hold the airbrush at a 90° angle close to the surface. But, be careful not to get too close and blow holes in the icing. For softer lines, hold the airbrush at a 45° angle.

    For backgrounds, hold the airbrush at a 45° angle about 6 ins. to 8 ins. from the surface. Gently move your hand back and forth while spraying color to create a soft, background effect. For example, the mountains on the motorcycle cake are made with pieces of un-iced cake that are airbrushed. Pipe the grass bottom border with tip No. 233.

    It is always a good idea to have some airbrushed, generic designs on display for customers who need decorated cakes at the last minute. The colorful swirl cake is suitable for any age and most events. Using several-different colors, airbrush swirls and dots on the top and sides of the cake. Pipe the top border using star tip No. 22 in an "eee" and reverse "eee" motion.

    Another easy design is a whimsical floral pattern. Airbrush the petals of several flowers. Then, outline the petals with icing. Experiment with different color combinations of icing and airbrush colors.

    Use stencils for easy designs
    Another common decorating method when airbrushing is to use stencils. Stencils produce clean looking designs and prevent over-spray. You can purchase stencils or make your own designs using paper, cardboard or plastic. Cookie cutters also make good stencils for airbrushed designs.

    Stencils work very well to decorate cookies. When airbrushing cookies, you can airbrush the design on an unbaked product, and then outline the design with icing after baking. Or, you can ice cookies and let the icing dry completely. Then, place the stencil on the cookie and spray the design.

    Airbrushing is an easy way to add color to your decorated products and further enhance designs. It is fast, inexpensive and saves labor. For an investment of about $75 to $250, you can purchase an airbrush and compressor that will allow you to airbrush designs for several years.

    A cute picture to experiment on...click to enlarge or print:


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