I've kept it no secret that I'm Italian and I generally love Italian desserts. It's the lemon and orange zest that hooks me! When my friend, Kate, saw me post about a cannoli cake, she said she wanted to try the recipe. Knowing that Kate's a great baker, I was all for her baking it. Truth be told, I'm too much of an experimentalist to follow a recipe. Turns out, Kate experiments too, but she knows what parts not to mess with and how to make her well-thought-out changes. I'm more of the type who thinks, "I like eggs, why not add more?" I know, baking is all science. I got my only D in high school chemistry.
We agreed that if she baked it, I would paint it.
It was so delicious! Moist and fluffy, with hints of orange. I think it tasted way better then a cannoli! We truly enjoyed the cake and the company!
So delicious and fun to have had this mid-day coffee and cake date with friends.
I'm looking forward to the joy of getting back to being able to do these things!
Needless to say, it took a lot longer for me to complete my end of the deal, but that time has finally come! Since I've been teaching perspective to my online watercolor class, and because it was time for our still-life class to paint food, I decided to paint Kate's cannoli cake as our subject.
We started by sketching the cake plate in perspective and first drawing a cube. Perspective tends to trip people up, so we dove into it to get it mastered. We then created ellipses within the cube for our cake stand and layered cake. Since everyone knows that delicious cake needs coffee, milk or hot tea to wash it down, I included a beverage in this still-life as well. Understanding perspective takes a lot of the discomfort out of trying to draw scenes with multiple or complicated shapes.
I used liquid mask to preserve some whites around the rim of the cup, highlights in the tea and the tea bag string.
I decided on my background colors and enjoyed layering them. I let the colors intermingle.
The chocolate chips are so much fun to paint! I have a little tutorial image on how to paint them on an older blog post here.
Here is the final painting above. I'm giving this original to Kate to commemorate our fun day and to thank her for sharing her gift with us. Pretty soon, I'll be posting a special page on my website with my original watercolor paintings for sale. Many are 11X14", 8x10" and 16X20", so if you've got a wall that needs something special on it, keep an eye out for this new place to shop!
Note: the prints will remain on my Etsy page.
Hope this post inspires you to bake something yummy. In case you are interested in trying it for yourself, here is a similar recipe to the one that chef Kate used. Her special modifications were to use plenty of navel orange zest, a "cinnamon plus" seasoning blend and buying the best, high quality Mascarpone cheese you can find. Enjoy!
If you're considering getting an illustrated custom family recipe of your own, have a look at some of these examples and get in touch with me.
Let me know in the comments or on social media, what kind of cakes you like to bake best.
Whether I am painting custom artwork, creating a water colored logo for a client, or teaching art students, I hope to refresh and inspire others with my work. Read more ...