Every Little Detail with Aproned Artist: Mid-Century-Style Easter Bunny Cookie + Taking Inspiration from Another Artist

 

[EDITOR'S NOTE: So sorry for the delayed tutorial posting this month - completely my fault. With CookieCon just ending and some other personal obligations kicking in, life has gone haywire here! Please be patient; "haywire" may remain my status quo for a couple of months. ~JMU]

The internet is such a treasure trove of cookie design material. Across all of the different social media platforms, we have an unending stream of art right at our fingertips. Years ago, while scrolling through some images on Pinterest, I came across these beauties:

original mid-century woodland xmas art

I was instantly enchanted and determined to recreate these images as cookies. After some minor sleuthing, I tracked down the artist, Elisandra Sevenstar, a graphic artist from Berlin. I sent her a message through Etsy, introducing myself and explaining how I wanted to use her images. Elisandra turned out to be a lovely person, and she was wholly supportive of my idea. With her permission, I copied her artwork in this set of cookies:

midcentury woodland christmas

Fast-forward more than two years later, and I鈥檓 still in love with Elisandra鈥檚 artwork. With Easter nearing, I decided to create a companion set - one inspired by her art but of my own design. To maintain consistency across the two sets, I used the composition of Elisandra鈥檚 original digital images as a framework. Each of the original images shared a colored oval within the background, a pair of cute animals, and tree branches creeping in from either side. I incorporated these elements in my design, however, I changed the oval to an egg shape, the more wintry woodland creatures to little bunnies, and the pine trees to budding apple blossoms. (I also streamlined the designs a bit to make them more appropriate for cookie decorating; I had no desire to make 20 icing bags again!) I did my best to emulate Elisandra鈥檚 mid-century style with slightly geometric shapes and earthy colors. My hope was to create a unique set that still captured the feel of the original.

Supplies:

  • 4 1/2 x 3-inch (11.4 x 7.6-cm) rectangular cookie
  • Egg-shaped cookie cutter that fits within the rectangular cookie (to use as a tracing guide)
  • Black fine-tipped, food-safe marker
  • Royal icing (I used AmeriColor gel paste to color the icing)*:
    • Flooding-consistency ivory (Ivory)
    • Flooding-consistency pink (5 parts Electric Pink/2 parts Gold/1 part Maroon/1 part Tulip Red)
    • Thick flooding-consistency dark brown (Chocolate Brown)
    • Thick flooding-consistency green (8 parts Gold/5 parts Leaf Green/2 parts Royal Blue/1 part Super Black)
    • Thick flooding-consistency white
    • Thick flooding-consistency dark gray (Super Black)
    • Thick flooding-consistency yellow (2 parts Gold/1 part Lemon Yellow)
    • Thick flooding-consistency light brown (1 part Chocolate Brown/1 part Regal Purple)
    • Thick flooding-consistency brown (1 part Chocolate Brown/1 part Regal Purple)
  • Tips:
    • PME #1.5, 1, 2, 0, and 00 (or equivalents)
    • Wilton #2 (or equivalent)
  • Design template (see the second photo in "Attachments" at the end of this post)
  • Scribe tool (or equivalent)

* Notes on consistencies: For thick flooding-consistency, I aim for about 20 seconds, meaning the "tracks" left by the icing when dropped into the icing bowl should disappear in about 20 seconds. For flooding-consistency, it is really personal preference; I usually aim for about 15 seconds.

Step 1: Flood cookie 

a. Place your baked, cooled rectangle cookie on your work surface, and center the egg-shaped cookie cutter on top of it. Trace around its perimeter with the food-safe marker to give yourself a guide for piping.

b. Using flooding-consistency ivory royal icing and a PME #1.5 tip (or equivalent), outline and flood the areas outside the egg shape you just traced in Step 1a.

c. Immediately flood the center egg shape with flooding-consistency pink royal icing, using a Wilton #2 tip (or equivalent). Let the icing dry completely.

1a-c flood cookie

Step 2: Pipe tree branches

a. Transfer the egg design onto the cookie using a projector, the paper transfer method, or another method of your choice. (Again, the design template can be found in the second photo at the end of this post.) Using thick flooding-consistency dark brown royal icing and a PME #1 tip (or equivalent), pipe the two branches. Use a scribe tool (or equivalent) to pull the icing away from the main branches to form the smaller branches.

b. Pipe teardrop-shaped leaves on the ends of some of the branches using thick flooding-consistency green royal icing and a PME #2 tip (or equivalent). Leave some of the branches empty for the buds we will pipe next.

c. Finally, add some small buds to the ends of most of the remaining branches using thick flooding-consistency white royal icing and a PME #0 tip (or equivalent).

2a-c pipe branches

Step 3: Pipe wet-on-wet butterfly

a. Draw the antennae of the butterfly with the food-safe marker.

b. Pipe the head and body of the butterfly with thick flooding-consistency dark gray royal icing and a PME #00 tip (or equivalent).

3a-b pipe butterfly body

c. Use the same icing and tip to pipe the dark edge of the butterfly鈥檚 top wing.

d. Immediately pipe the rest of the top wing with thick flooding-consistency yellow royal icing and a PME #0 tip (or equivalent).

e. While the icing is still wet, use a scribe tool (or equivalent) to drag lines from the dark gray edge into the yellow section of the wing.

f. Repeat Steps 3c through 3e to pipe the bottom wing of the butterfly.

3c-f pipe butterfly wings

Step 4: Pipe bunnies

a. Pipe the smaller bunny on the left using thick flooding-consistency light brown royal icing and a PME #0 tip (or equivalent). Immediately add a few white dots on his rear with thick flooding-consistency white royal icing and a PME #0 tip (or equivalent).

b. Using thick flooding-consistency white royal icing and a PME #0 tip (or equivalent), pipe the white sections of the larger bunny on the right. Begin with the arm section and end with the upper chest section (to allow enough time for the icing in the arm to crust and to leave a slight seam between the two sections). Let the white sections dry for a few minutes before proceeding.

c. Using thick flooding-consistency brown royal icing and a PME #0 tip (or equivalent), pipe the remainder of the large bunny鈥檚 body. Allow the icing to dry completely.

4a-c pipe bunnies

d. To complete the cookie, add small, round eyes and triangle-shaped noses to the bunnies with thick flooding-consistency dark gray royal icing and a PME #00 tip (or equivalent).

4d add eyes and nose

Finished! If you鈥檇 like to recreate the other pictured cookies, the template includes all of the designs for this mid-century-inspired Easter set:

Final midcentury easter set

Many thanks to Elisandra for her support! If you鈥檙e interested in seeing more of Elisandra Sevenstar鈥檚 work, check out her Etsy store and Tumbler and Instagram pages.

Source:

Samantha Yacovetta began cookie decorating in 2013. While working at a local bakery, Samantha became captivated by cookie art when a customer requested princess-themed cookies. Attracted initially to the precision of cookie decorating, Samantha soon found that the limitless design opportunities turned it into her artistic passion. Samantha began regularly stocking the bakery case with decorated cookies and for several years sold cookies through her own company, Aproned Artist, a cottage food operation. Having retired from the business life, Samantha now enjoys making cookies just for fun from her home in San Jose, California, USA. To learn more about Samantha, please check out her Cookie Connection portfolio, her Facebook page, and her past Every Little Detail tutorials here.

Photo and cookie credits: Samantha Yacovetta

Note: Every Little Detail with Aproned Artist is a monthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Samantha Yacovetta focused on the special little details that make big statements in cookie design. This article expresses the views of the author, and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. To read all of Samantha's past Every Little Detail tutorials, click here. And to see all of Cookie Connection's tutorials, click here.

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Another stunning set, @Aproned Artist! Thank you too for the side lessons on (1) the difference between copying and drawing inspiration, (2) properly seeking permission to copy, and (3) properly crediting sources of art and inspiration. All of these lessons underscore important expectations and rules on this site, and so, again, I thank you!

Julia M. Usher posted:

Another stunning set, @Aproned Artist! Thank you too for the side lessons on (1) the difference between copying and drawing inspiration, (2) properly seeking permission to copy, and (3) properly crediting sources of art and inspiration. All of these lessons underscore important expectations and rules on this site, and so, again, I thank you!

Thanks, Julia. It鈥檚 always a little intimidating for me to ask an artist for permission, however, I鈥檝e been pleasantly surprised how honored and generous most artists are.

Heather Bruce Sosa posted:

Oh, such amazing work! So simple and delicate, a combination that makes it beautiful and so attractive. 

Thank you for the wonderful tutorial too. Will try it out!馃グ

Thanks, Heather! I hope you do give it a try. 

A suggestion - if a design is on Etsy, it is probably there to sell. If the design is being used for some type of commercial endeavor, like in a bakery, I think it would be appropriate to offer to pay the designer in some way based on the income it would generate. Many Etsy sellers are not business people and work their crafts through the kindness of their creative hearts.  Perhaps that seller could have posted "licensing of my designs are available." In the absence of that, all of us can help each other by offering compensation. 

Littleviews posted:

A suggestion - if a design is on Etsy, it is probably there to sell. If the design is being used for some type of commercial endeavor, like in a bakery, I think it would be appropriate to offer to pay the designer in some way based on the income it would generate. Many Etsy sellers are not business people and work their crafts through the kindness of their creative hearts.  Perhaps that seller could have posted "licensing of my designs are available." In the absence of that, all of us can help each other by offering compensation. 

I absolutely agree that the artist should be compensated if you will be profiting from using their art. As it happens in this case, the images were not on Etsy - that鈥檚 just how I communicated with Elisandra - and I also made it explicitly clear to her that I would not be selling the cookies. When I first reached out to Elisandra, she was very excited to see her art in cookie form. I made those cookies purely for my own enjoyment. While I did not offer her compensation for my personal project, I did try to promote her art and Etsy store in every way that I could.

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