If you have ever struggled trying to create a face for one of your fondant, gumpaste/fondant or modeling paste figurines I have the solution for you. It is the online tutorial: “How to make sugar craft faces” by Zoe Hopkinson and in my humble opinion it is one of the best modeling tutorials available!
Throughout my gumpasting journey I’ve avoided like the plague (unless I could use a mold) making sugarcraft faces. Because they are only available in a limited amount of sizes, it means molds are not going to work for every situation. Also, with molds there is little or no flexibility in the way one can customize the facial features (face shape, nose size & shape, etc.). For those reasons I decided to try my first attempt at modeling a face without the aid of a mold. All I can say is that I was totally devastated with the end results. Luckily for me after bravely posting this little fondant girl on my Fan Facebook page I was advised by one of my visitors to check out the YouTubes made by Zoe’s Fancy Cakes. After watching several of them I went to Zoe's Fan Facebook page and found out she had just released an online course for faces. I watched the preview and I felt it was something that would be worthwhile purchasing and I’m happy that I did!
Why am I so impressed with this course? First off it has so much relevant information i.e. none of the unnecessary fluff like some videos do to add time to their overall length. Zoe shows and explains all of her processes in meticulous detail. This meant that by the end of the course I didn’t feel confused by any of the various steps.
The fact that she accomplishes these faces with very few tools is great for anyone starting out because this means it can be done rather inexpensively. If you want you can view her tutorial’s tool section for free. Here is the Link.
One of the selling points for me is that she shows a nice array of different styled faces to create. This is particularly important because I want to be able to make figurine faces that I can best only describe as ones with natural, realistic-looking features. But who knows? Maybe someday I’ll want to make a comic type character and I can then get terrific advice for that too.
The only thing I had been leery about was the nose because I was convinced that you should model them with tools rather than attaching them separately onto the face. This is because I had watched some Brazilian videos showing that is how it is done when using ‘cold porcelain’. Since the videos were not in English I’m only guessing that is the modeling medium that was used. Okay, I guess somewhere in the back of mind I also felt like I might be taking the easy way out. But that foolish concept changed once I realized that it was downright impossible (at least for me) to ‘sculpt’ a nice-looking nose using fondant/modeling paste. So, from now on I have no qualms about gluing on a nose. Trust me, after you watch Zoe show all her different noses you will agree it is the easiest method and also quite an attractive way to go.
The eye and mouth section is really great too! It is astonishing what she achieves with only a very few tools, tiny pieces of fondant, colored gel paste and/or petal/luster dust. It opens up a so many creative possibilities because you can follow her terrific lead and/or you can try going solo by using what you have already learned.
Something I tend to take for granted and only notice when there is poor quality is the filming and the volume. That is not the case here as they are both professionally done and make viewing pleasurable.
So, I would highly recommend this course to beginners with a little experience or to any intermediates who want to add to the skills they already have. With that in mind I thought you might like to see my first face using some of what I learned from Zoe’s tutorial. Needless to say, I’m very pleased with the results and I feel confident that (with a little more practice) the next time I attempt to create another one it will be even better.
One Last Thought
Since I don’t live in Great Britain the chances of me getting to be able to attend a hands-on class taught by the extremely gifted Zoe Hopkinson are slim and none. So, that is why I’m such a huge fan of purchasing online sugarcrafting classes. In the past I used to count on Craftsy.com to provide some of them for me, but sadly these classes appear to me to be a thing of the past. So, if you want to continue having the privilege of viewing first-class instruction that you can watch over and over again at your leisure in your own home, I think it is vital that we collectively support these very talented artists who produce these incredible tutorial(s). For me they are a priceless resource to be taken advantage of!
“How to make sugar craft faces” by Zoe Hopkinson