You can drive yourself crazy trying to find that perfect shade.
I've gotten to the "Good Enough" stage with a recent nude figurative sculpture after taking an on-line master sculpting course, "Standing Strong" over the past week, from Amelia Rowcroft, who sculpts for Madame Tassauds Wax Museum in London. If you're interested in taking the course, the link is https://www.sculptingmasterclass.com/ . Below is the sculpture that came from my effort. Amelia actually has people sculpt the figure standing (hence the name of the class), but my armature stand fell over as I was putting the clay onto the armature, and the fall knocked the sculpture to the ground, so I did the sculpture in a sitting position rather than trying to stop and rebuild my stand.
At the same time that I feel like the sculpture may be my best attempt at a figurative piece to date, I can still look at it and see a number of things I want to go back and try to correct, but I struggle with the dilemma of whether it will be worth it. I find that as I go back to a piece trying to make it better, I often start making mistakes, and have learned that oftentimes, it's better to either just give it a rest or realize that it needs to be finished in the good enough state, especially because I'm a perfectionist, and if it were up to my inner critic, a piece would never be good enough.
The concentration that this week's sculpture required has left me looking forward to doing a few things other than sculpt for the next week as I prepare to go to a week long workshop at the Appalachian Center for Craft where there should be some "Strange and Unusual" outcomes, as that's the name of the workshop that I'll be attending. I'll be learning to sculpt a bust portrait using hollow techniques which I've never done before, taught by Sarah Davey, who specializes in sculpting surreal characters with unusual gestures and expressions. Here is an example of one of her pieces:
Strange and unusual, right?!!
Although Ms. Davey has a different style from mine, I always welcome being exposed to different techniques and ways of thinking, and love learning from as many experienced artists and instructors as I can. Each teacher has their own unique pointers, styles, experiences, and background, and by exposing myself to their knowledge, I'm slowly internalizing what I have gleaned from them into my own unique creativity and developing sense of myself as an artist as I continue my on-going struggle to be good enough.
So until I return from the workshop, I hope everyone is having a good start to the summer and that you're able to get out and FINALLY be with friends and family again. It's so nice to see life begin to return to a bit of normalcy as we long for the day when Covid is truly behind us.