I am in course 1 of wilton so we have not gotten to fondant yet. I would like to place a small teddy bear on my final cake ( about 2 inches high) using only buttercream frosting. Any tips on how to do this and still get that nice smooth appearance?
paintbrush dipped in hot water then blotted so it is not so wet, or a small spatula dipped in hot water and dried on paper towel. Buy Rondald Winbecklers book on figure piping. It is worth it. And it is pretty cheap
I'm pretty sure figure piping is gone into more depth in Course II, but it's been a while, so I can't say for certain. I know I used one of the 40% off Michael's coupons to get the huge tackle box of supplies, and the book that cake in there showed how to do all sorts of different figure piping animals.
For my 2nd cake in course one, I made monkeys instead of clowns -- Like Justbeck suggested, I smoothed out the lines with a damp paintbrush.
Make sure your buttercream is thick....really thick. As thick as you can have it and still be able to squeeze the piping bag. Use a couple without a tip and pipe two short lines on the cake where you want the legs to be. Then load some buttercream in another bag with a large hole (probably about 1" diameter.) Squeeze a big dollop over the ends of the two lines for the body. Squeeze another smaller dollop on top of that for the head. Then using you orginal bag pipe a dollop on each side for the arms and two more on each side of the head for ears. Then use the painr brush method to smooth everything out. Use colored bc (pink and black) to make the details. Voila! It's easier to do than to explain!