1. For a portrait cake, make a photocopy of the original photo. Place the copied picture on top of a thin sheet of sugar paste or rolled fondant that is resting on a piece of cardboard. Lightly trace the outline of the person with a pencil. Do not press too hard because you do not want to poke holes in the fondant.
2. Use brown food coloring and a fine paintbrush to paint the traced lines onto the fondant. Keep the photo in view for reference.
3. To airbrush skin, go from light colors to dark. Start with yellow to add warmth to the skin, and lightly coat all areas of the skin. Then, add the orange or flesh tone color to give depth to the skin.
4. Finally, use brown airbrush color to add shadows to the skin as well as color in the hair. When airbrushing hair, use brown color under black to create dark hair, yellow color under orange for red hair and yellow color under brown for blonde.
5. Fill in the lips using a little red airbrush color. Use less color for men than you would for women. Add blue color in the background. A cool color, such as blue, adds dimension to the warm skin tone and frames the face well.
6. Lightly airbrush purple color around the outline of the portrait to really make the portrait pop. Use a paintbrush to add the eye color as well other details, such as eyebrows. Use a cut paper tube and white icing to highlight the lips and eyes.
7. Pipe simple top and bottom shell borders on a quarter sheet cake. Then, airbrush the borders yellow and overspray with green. The two-tone technique makes the color more vibrant, and by only airbrushing the sides at the top and bottom, you give the illusion of additional height.
8. Slide the portrait off the cardboard and onto the cake.
10. Use a cut paper tube and black icing to pipe an appropriate message. This cake was made in remembrance of John Roeser Jr., the second-generation owner of Roeserﾒs Bakery in Chicago.