I'm an American cake decorator and photography enthusiast, living in Japan. I like to bake things and go places and take lots of pictures.
My artistic abilities have always been pretty much limited to tracing. That’s why I like frozen buttercream transfers. Print out a picture (mirrored), tape it to a cutting board, tape wax paper over it, and start tracing with thinned-out buttercream, freezing between each color. Then remove it from the cutting board, flip it over onto the cake, peel off the wax paper, et voila! In this case I added some grass-tip “fur” to Elmo’s face. It’s so simple. All it takes is a (reasonably) steady hand and some forethought (it takes some planning ahead to make sure you have enough time to thoroughly freeze it).
(Pro-tip: whenever you have leftovers of ANY color of buttercream, mix them all together into a container that you keep in your freezer. When you need black, thaw it out and add black food coloring - the mushy brownish-gray color is a much better starting point than pure white frosting. The more you know…)