When I make gumpaste figures, I always have the same problem when I sculpt a long line - it starts out nice and smooth, but towards the end the fondant seems to crumble and flake. the line is no longer clean and smooth looking. Not sure what I'm doing wrong here. I've used different fondant tools, and always get the same effect. Any ideas?
I think it is because you are dragging the tools across that you get this effect. I would use indent with either an icing tube, back of small knife or even card which you can bend if needed.
I use a drinking straw cut in half for small mouths - it's thin and sharp enough to go cleanly in and out of the gumpaste. You could use something bigger like a piece of a disposable cup for bigger lines - the key is to go in and out rather than dragging the paste to the side.
You can use a small sharp knife and carefully draw the mouth with it, then take the small end of a veining tool and pull it across the cut to smooth the edges. Then use the larger, flat end of the veining tool to open the mouth and smooth more. For a smile, you can use round piping tips to press in the mouth and use the veining tool to smooth and open. You can also pinch the bottom lip at the center between your thumb and finger to pull the bring the center of the bottom lip down a little.
Try different ends of piping tips - the #12 round and any of the large ends on standard tips will give you a nice clean curve.
I like the idea submitted by Bunsen using the straw, never thought of that. Good stuff!
I agree with Bunsen-- the in and out motion is key for me. I also put a little shortening on the tip of my toothpick or whatever tool I'm using to smooth over rough edges. cute froggy!