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Split Cakes, One Strokes, & Rainbow Cakes…What’s the Difference?!

Split cakes, one strokes, rainbow cakes…what does it all mean and what are the differences?  Many people are confused by all the different brands, types, and terminology out there!  I thought I’d do a blog post that attempts to sort out all of the terms.  If you are more of a split cake expert than I, and you have corrections, please let me know with a comment below! 

One-stroke vs Split Cake vs Rainbow Cake? What’s the difference?
One stroke is a term used to describe a painting technique where the artist loads more than one color on a brush, and is then able to create multi-colored and multi-dimensional effects with just one stroke of the brush.  In the folk art painting world, artists like the well known Donna Dewberry use acrylic or oil paints and “double-dip” or load their brush with two or more colors.

In the face and body painting world, the term “one-stroke” is generally used to describe the use of “split cakes” … split cakes are cakes of paint that contain more than one color, enabling you to load multiple colors onto one brush or sponge and lay down multiple colors with “one stroke” technique. 

Any cake of paint that contains two or more colors in one cake could be called a split cake, because the cake is split among two or more colors.  Most painters consider a “One-Stroke cake” to be a split cake designed to load every color onto one brush.  (The cakes that look more long and skinny, and the width of a wide, flat brush)

Several brands of split cakes that are narrow enough to load every color on a 3/4″-1″ flat brush

However, some may argue that ANY size of split cake can be called a one stroke cake because you are using them for the one stroke technique of laying down multiple colors at once, regardless of the size swatch you are creating.

Rainbow Cake is a term very loosely used by many painters in reference to either split cakes in general, or split cakes with a standard rainbow color combination.  Below are 5 different brands of rainbow-colored split cakes:

SillyFarm, Paradise, Wolfe, Tag, & Cameleon’s “rainbow” cakes

Who Makes What?

TAG has named their smaller, rectangular split cakes after the technique, calling them “one-stroke cakes,” as they are sized to perfectly load ever color on their 3/4” flat “one stroke brush.” They call their larger cakes “base blenders,” and while most artists apply these with larger sponges, technically they could also be used with one brush if you can find one that is wide enough.  I personally use these larger “base blenders” and rainbow cakes like a one-stroke with a 2” wide brush.  But both the TAG One-Stroke cakes and Base Blenders can be called “split cakes” or “one stroke cakes.”

Every brand has their own

Many professional face paint brands offer some line of split cakes.  Here are the major brands with their own brand-specific names: (“Brand” => “Term”)

TAG => “One Stroke Cakes” and “Base Blenders”
Cameleon => “ColorBlocks”
Mehron => “Prisma Cakes”
SillyFarm => “Arty Cakes”
Wolfe => “Rainbow Cakes”

Whether you are doing cheek art, full body painting, or anything in between, split cakes and one-stroke techniques can really help you to make a huge impact while saving tons of time.  While I personally love to take my time blending my colors to perfection, not all gigs (or little wiggly customers) allow the time for it.  One stroke techniques enable you to work quickly without sacrificing the quality that you are known for!

I will leave you with a few photos of some of the one-stroke painting I’ve done in the past few months….

My leg painted with TAG one-stroke cakes
Owl mask done with TAG “magpie” and “teddy bear”
Cupcake cheek art

Princess design using TAG “Pansy”
Quick princess crown using TAG “unicorn”
Umbrella painted with TAG’s “rainbow” one-stroke cake

Are you interested in trying out one strokes and aren’t sure where to start? Global now has some really awesome new palettes that come with six one stroke combinations for just $33! Check them out HERE!

 Looking for a little more direction on how to use and apply one stroke cakes? I’ve written the missing manual to one strokes, and you can purchase it HERE!

We also have three special package deals where you can save money by purchasing the book, a great TAG one stroke brush, and even choose your own split cakes to go with it! Check them out HERE!

Currently our shop carries many of the TAG split cakes, as well as Global, Wolfe, Cameleon and Paradise.  What are YOUR favorite split cake combinations?  Feel free to post here or contact me any time with suggestions!  I stock much of my shop based on my customers’ requests!  And if you’d like to see more, be sure to download issue 13 of our free e-newsletters for a one stroke rose step-by-step!

2 thoughts on “Split Cakes, One Strokes, & Rainbow Cakes…What’s the Difference?!

  1. Very nice work.

  2. Very nice work.

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