Learn to Paint a Realistic Iris

Posted by on Feb 23, 2013 in Cake Decorating | Comments


Mike McCarey is the new Craftsy cake decorating instructor who dishes on all the valuable cake decorating skills in his brand new class, Advanced Cake Sculpting: Bobbleheads. Mike’s cake designs are known for being adventurous, wondrous, and daring. In this video tip, he shares with you his secret to painting a stunning, realistic iris for cakes with faces!

Hi, I’m Mike McCarey and I’m an instructor with Craftsy.com and I’m going to do a quick little tip on how to paint a realistic iris.

So what I’ve got here is a modeling chocolate eyeball basically, with an inset, or a beginning bed of iris of dark blue. What I’m going to do first is I’m going to score out where I’m going to have the pupil to give me a starting and stopping point to paint. What I’ve got here is powdered food coloring in white, blue, and black. And I’m adding a very high alcohol like 151 Rum to make a paint. The first paint I have is a light blue, and I’ve got a good ol’ paintbrush and I’m going to dab that. I want to make like spokes going out from the center of a tire. So I’m going to start in the center, and I don’t want to have too much paint on there, and I’m going to work my way out there. That way, and that way, and that way, and that way, and then I’ll start filling in between- like that. And then I’ll fill in that way. I want it to have darks and lights. I want it to be as if it had lines in it.

And I’m going to do more than one color. First I’m laying the blue in like that. You can see how the lines are radiating out from the center, where I’m starting out. And I want that dark ridge on the outside edge because that’s really what goes on with an eye. Then I’m going to trade up and clean up my brush. And I’m going to trade up for white. This smaller brush is actually going to be a little to thick, so I’m going to go with a really small point and I’m going to pull in some white lines. And they’ll absorb some of the blue, but I’ll get a light and dark then, like that, and I’ll only do a few of them. As I go around I’m getting that color difference. I’m getting that nice rich texture in there, like that. And then when I get that done, I trade up for black- same thing. Powdered food coloring with a high proof alcohol in there and then I’ll just paint the center in there which is nice because I scored that ridge, so it gives me a nice place to stop painting and I’m assured that I won’t carry the black off into the rest of my eye. Going around there like that- and there you go! So now we have an eye.

So guys if you liked this tip, check out my class Advanced Cake Sculpting: Bobbleheads on Craftsy.com. I hope to see you there.

In case you missed it, be sure to learn more about Mike here and learn how to support your cakes. And then join us on the Craftsy blog this upcoming Tuesday to learn how to seal your cake stands.