Airbrushing Cookies – What Color Do I Use
How do you know what color to use when your airbrushing cookies? I hear this question a lot. It is really hard to give a quick answer because in my opinion, there isn’t just one answer. It is kind of like decorating a cookie. There are many different ways to do it and get great results.
I am going to try to do a few posts on this topic that might help you decide what colors you like and don’t like so you feel more confident so you get that airbrush machine out of the closet and on the counter where it belongs.
Here is a quick look at what we are going to be discussing today. Colors. Some good, some bad, some invisible and some UGLY!
Where do you begin when your trying to decide how to start airbrushing cookies? I don’t think the question should be “where” to begin, I think the question is “when” to begin. I think you need to begin when you have time to practice and play around with the colors. One of the biggest questions I had when I first bought my airbrush gun was what color do I shade with. I found the answers when I wasn’t in a hurry. One day I decided to bake and decorate several batches of cookies so I could practice. I am so gald I did because I had the time of my life. I was ready to airbrush anything I could get my hands on because it was so much fun.
If I had been in a hurry, I would never figured out what I liked and didn’t like. It would have been easy to give up and put the contraption in the closet so it could mock me every time I walked by.
The point I am trying to make is to take your time. Have fun. Practice when you can enjoy it and not when you are frustrated and trying to fill an order or finish cookies for your grandmother’s 100th birthday party.
If you are interested in airbrushing cookies and would like to purchase an airbrush gun you can get it here.
Sometimes it is easy to know what colors will work with the icing. The top cookie in this picture is shaded with red. It is almost invisible. Very hard to see. Now don’t just ignore this information because if you have a red cookie that has a dull look once it dries, spray it with the red. It will bring that dull cookie back to life.
The other cookies in this picture are shaded with the warm brown airbrush color. It is my favorite color to use for shading one red icing.
Now in my opinion, the warm brown doesn’t look as good on the green pumpkins. It looks dirty and gives the green an orange-ish tint to it. Not my favorite.
Once I grabbed the green airbrush color, I knew I had found a winner.
Now for the blue. What can I say? Some of those cookies are just ugly! The small bottom one isn’t even kind of cute. And the one above it…I won’t go there. So what do you do when the airbrush color is awful? Grab another practice cookie and try a different color until you find one you do like. I like the big cookie second from the top. Which one do you like?
Now the yellow pumpkins are a lot different from the blue pumpkins. You could use brown, orange or yellow to shade the yellow pumpkins. I like them all.
Gray is hard color to shade if you don’t want something bold. Black will work but, it is very bold and it is harder to get a soft shadow. I will practice more on cookies like this and let you know what I find out.
Purple airbrush color on purple pumpkins works well. I tried other colors and let’s just say they weren’t the favorites of the day. Yuck.
Orange airbrush color is another color that looks good when it is on an orange pumpkin. It will add a nice shine and you can see it well enough to see that the cookies have been shaded. I also like brown on the orange. But why stop there? Try some red or yellow and see how that turns out. Who knows, you might like it.
I think this is a good place to start. We will go into airbrush colors more in the future.
Now I have an assignment for you. Here is your mission should you choose to accept it. Bake some cookies. Outline and flood each cookie with different colors. Set up your airbrush gun and have a little fun. Airbrush the cookies when the icing is wet and airbrush some when the icing is dry to see which one you like best.
Take pictures so you will remember what colors work and what colors don’t. You may want to print the pictures and store them in the same container where you keep your airbrush gun for quick reference. That is what I do.
I have a batch of dough ready in the fridge… ready to be cut and baked and iced …. and airbrushed!!!!
Well, you know I want to see some pictures! 😉
These are great tips! Learning how different colors work (and don’t work) together is something I have found takes some time and patience. The more you work at it the better you get. Beautiful cookies by the way!
You are so right Ashley! And what a fun way to learn!
Thanks for the tips. I bought a airbrush machine in January. Well it’s still in the cabinet. I keep telling myself I’m going to practice but I just never find the time. You’ve inspired me. I’ll take the challenge, bake some cookies tonight and do some playing tomorrow night. I can’t wait to play with the colors.
You go Sandy!! You can do it! When you make some cookies, I would love to see some pictures. 😉
oh…. and it’s not really practicing, it will be learning since it’s never had food color in it on been plugged in!!!!
You’ve got this!
“…..put the contraption in the closet so it can mock me every time I walk by.” You know me so well.
That is what mine did to me the first 2 months I had it. I could hear it laughing at me! But who’s laughing NOW! Muahahaha, muahahaha, muahahaha!
Airbrush when the icing is wet!!! You just blew my mind! Never even thought of that! Off to Play!
I am planning on doing a few tutorials on that soon Lizy. Just don’t let the icing form a crust or the air can crack it. Hey. That could make a good Halloween cookie! (Light Bulb!)
I recently bought an airbrush and I think I got one that’s bigger than I need. I’ve only tried it once because I’m afraid I’ll make a mess all thru the house. I also need to figure out what setting to use for the pressure because I think it was way too high. Mine doesn’t have high, medium, low. I can adjust to various numbers (psi?) I’d be thrilled if I could figure it out. Just need to practice…..but where? hahaha Thanks for all the info. Love your site.
A long time ago a lady asked me why the airbrush gun made her house blue. I honestly didn’t know the answer because it never happened to me becuase I have always used an airbrush station. Once she asked the question, I tweeked my station and made a tutorial out of it. You can see it here: http://thebearfootbaker.com/2012/12/brighten-you-photos-with-an-airbrush-gun-station/
It is simple and affordable and it really does contain the spray.
Hope this helps,
I just an extra day in the week and I would name it airbrush day! Love how you explained all the colors you tried!
You really are the queen of airbrushing! Love how you use it. Airbrushing these give it such a realistic look. Thanks so much for inspiring me. You never cease to amaze me with your talent!!!
You’re great!!! These airbushing cookies look amazing! Love the colors. Thanks for sharing this inspiring post! I’ll make some airbushing cookies for Halloween!
What airbrush machine to you suggest? I’ve been shopping online for over a week and can’t decide on which one to get. It’s overwelming when you know nothing about it.
I use the Pegasus Professional Airbrush System from Karen’s Cookies. You can find it here: http://www.karenscookies.net/Pegasus-Professional-Airbrush-System-PS-465_p_1749.html
I have heard people say they bought the Duff brand from Michael’s with a 50% off coupon and they think it is a lot like my machine. I can’t tell you what to buy but, I can tell you that I like mine very well and have never had any problems with it. Just research and make a pro and con list of the different brands. to help you make a decision.
Thank you for your response! I ordered a Master. I’ll let you know what I think when I get to use it. I’m working on a big project right now that doesn’t require airbrush, but may play with it afterward.
Thank you Lisa! All of your tips and videos on airbrushing have been most helpful:)