What is the best way to get started making animals out of fondant or marzipan? I need help. I have never done this before and I don't even know how to get started. Is there a guide to go by?
Hello and Welcome to CakeCentral! You will love it here!
On the main page if you scroll down, you will see articles including videos. The very first one is a tiny bear done by aine2. She is amazing. That's a good place to start.
I'll second that, Aine2's tutorials are amazing and she is so generous in sharing her talent. You should view her profile or a recent post from her and follow her links too, she has some more tutorials on her website.
I would also recommend you start with either Wilton fondant (blech but it works well for modeling as long as you are sure nobody is going to eat it) because it's pretty sturdy, or if you plan to make your own MMF then be sure to add gum-tex or tylose powder to it to firm it up. I've made figures with straight MMF and they really don't firm up well, it's maddening to work with without the additives. Half fondant/half gumpaste is another good option but for beginning, why not try a pack of Wilton and consider it "practice material only" till you get the hang of it. I have never tried marzipan so I don't know how it handles with regard to modeling.
Other than Aine2's, also lots of people recommend checking out instructions for modeling in clay (esp. Sculpey). It's basically the same principal only your clay happens to be made of sugar. I myself just studied pics of fondant figures in the galleries and "went for it" when it was time to try my first ones. The principles are often quite simple: round balls for heads, sausage shapes for torsos and arms, etc. There are some templates in the template gallery too, with great mini-tutorials on several animals. http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&aid=121
Good luck and have fun!
ps here is a list of common acronyms used on CC! http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-2926.html
I myself started by looking at LOTS of photos of other peoples work. Second I started going to youtube and looking up videos, they show you piece by piece how to do somethings. AND third I went to my local craft store and bought books on how to make people and animals out of polymer clay. Its pretty much the same thing only your working with edible products and you dont have to bake it when your done.
Let me know if you want more hints on anything.
The main Sculpey projects page.
One of my favorite instructional and inspirational links on polymer clay sculpture.