I have often considered myself an artist. However, because I am a cake decorator and not a painter, my medium is icing instead of paint. My tools are decorating bags, spatulas, and paste and/or airbrush food coloring. My palette is mixing bowls and plastic containers. I thought about this last night as I was decorating the above pictured cake. It had several different shades of browns. When I work with browns, I normally always use chocolate buttercream and add to that, because it tastes better than just using plain old brown paste color. For example, the shoes and the underside of the hat are done with full strength thinned down chocolate buttercream. The upper portion of the hat and jacket were made by adding white buttercream, and for the hair and middle part of the sunflowers, I added a touch of red icing to the chocolate. Even the gray color for the gardening gloves was made from white buttercream, with a touch of chocolate and a very small addition of blue. This was a fun cake to do. I designed it for Michelle, a friend of mine who works at a retirement home...hence the interesting birthday names. I wanted to do something with sunflowers, since this is sunflower season in Colorado, and I thought the woman with the green thumb and large nose added character. The flavor of the cake was strawberry with fresh strawberry mousse.