Palette knife painting technique

In this tutorial, Neetha Syam shows you how to sculpt beautiful flowers using the palette knife painting technique...

These are artists’ palette knives that we are using for our painting: you can source these from any art store. You can use a different-sized palette knife depending on the size of the flower that you’d like to paint. Here, I am using a small palette knife – size 1 – to paint a chrysanthemum.

Decant your buttercream onto a flat surface such as a plastic chopping board or glass tray to do your painting.

Buttercream Petals cover

This guide is from Buttercream Petals by Neetha Syam, Search Press. Master the art of decorating cakes with buttercream flowers in this stunning book from cake artist and tutor Neetha. If you enjoy this guide you can get the book from our online shop WITH an automatic 10% off just for being you, PLUS free UK P+P! 

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You will need


  • Buttercream
  • Food colourings of your choice


  • Palette knife
  • Tray


Using a palette knife, pick up some buttercream. The amount of buttercream you pick up will determine the thickness of the petal that you're going to paint.
Apply it back onto the tray – this is the first step of the smoothing process.
Pick up the buttercream again, using the side of the palette knife.
You'll see that the buttercream on the back of the palette knife is much smoother now. Smooth buttercream ensures you can paint a well-defined petal, with clean edges.
You can now start painting by applying this buttercream firmly to the surface and gently sliding your palette knife inwards to create a petal or leaf shape.
Last updated 10 months ago

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