I was looking at some of my cake pictures recently, comparing some of my more recent cakes with some done several years ago. Even though all were nice, the more recent cakes have much better detail and look nicer. I think what has made the difference is that I now use buttercream to outline, instead of piping gel, as I had many years ago. Often, I use chocolate buttercream, the darkness depending on the pattern I'm working with. I think I have also gotten pickier about being exact with my fill-in and detail work. For example, on this last cake I did for a friend's baby shower, I ended up doing the faces over again, because I was unhappy with the way the eyes looked first time around. Took me forever to decorate, but I was happy with the end result.