Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Round 2

So. am I a perfectionist or just pig headed ?

I know I can be a bit of a drama queen when things don't go right first time .....sorry. I am just so...well impatient.

Maybe it is because I grew up around engineers. Maybe it is because my Dad had such high hopes for me. Maybe it is because I was so successful in my job in the 'real' world. Maybe it is because other sculptors make it look so easy. Maybe my ego is too big. Maybe I am a masochist.

I don't know, but whatever it is I want to do it right and I want to do it right first time. And when it invariably isn't right I get really upset with myself.

I think I just need to cut myself some slack and
I am getting better at that....honest :-)

It has been suggested, by sculptors whose opinions I respect very much, that I paint the eyes onto the sculpt. My reason for not doing this is that I was afraid I would mess up my perfect face with my inexperience of painting eyes.

And there I go again...I expect to sculpt the perfect face first time.

So,, after some thought, I have accepted that it is going to take me probably many tries at the head before I get one I think is good enough.

So....all those heads that aren't good enough....I will bake them anyhow and use them to practice my eye painting on.

I have to say though...this is a tough job. I spent the weekend looking at photos of half naked men...in the name of research of course...and my wall is covered with pictures of pretty boy rock stars.....not too different from when I was a teen thinking about it :-)


  1. If it can be of any help I can tell you that being picky is not that bad. I use to redo my stitching if even a single stitch is not the perfect(to my eyes) colour and sometimes even shape. Yes, the shape of a stitch! Anyway, being eyes my job, I can tell you that if they lack of eyelids and lashes human eyes look false even if they are real.Have you ever seen a sheep or cow eyeball OUTSIDE the socket? it looks as fake as 12 dollar note! I'm sure that your eyes will look brilliant when they are complete and coated with varnish. Have a nice time at sculpting. Rosanna

  2. You are most definitely a perfectionist - that is obvious from your plants and flowers - but you are also very pig headed and I am sure that Mick would agree with me on that one.

    Being pig headed has turned you into a perfectionist which has turned you into a very professional artist and being pig headed means that you will never accept just how good you are and how far up the ladder you are along with all those people you so admire.


  3. I know just how you feel.... I am the same way sometimes and it drives my husband crazy. You'll get it down... and you may even fall in love with some of the imperfections along the way.

    I haven't tried sculpting faces yet.... I am a little too scared for the time being. So I can't offer any advice except that perhaps sculpting while sipping a glass of wine might help rid some frustration - hehe :)

  4. Perfectionist Jayne! Oh Lol.
    I would suggest from my own experience to not think your first face will be perfect. It won't.
    Nor will your second, third fourth and so on. Maybe by your fifth you will be getting there.
    I know just what you are like and what you see in your head as perfection. I too saw all of this and became frustrated i couldnt get out of the clay what i wanted. I would say i was about one fith of the way to what i wanted.
    Something will happen or the back of the head will lose its shape or you will not put a forehead, the lids that hold those EYES will not sit right etc etc. Its an endless list but its good to make mistakes because you learn from them and it helps with the next.
    I know i'm not a pro but i would imagine what i went through with my faces is exactly what the top sculptors went through at some point. They must have to have now become so good through learning by mistakes. I'm so sure of this.
    The base for your body looks great from what i can tell. My friend sent me two like this made of wire and clay and you have made yours in exactly the same way. Lisa who sent them is a brilliant sculptor so if yours are the same they must at least be perfect.
    I'm frustrated here trying to take a photo and so far after almost 200 shots i still dont have a good enough one. I want the best and cant get it... lol.
    Off to stop and eat chocolate in anger... lol

  5. Hi Jayne...

    You are so right...you need to give yourself breathing room and try not to be so hard on yourself... it WILL come togther in do time ...I promise you!
    As for painting the eyes onto the well placed round beads baked into the head...and fearful you might mess up the head...remember this... keep your paints on the thin side, paint the eyes 'first before painting any other part of the head..and if per chance you do mess up...get a little 'stipple' brush, some 'rubbing alcohol...and scratch away the painted eyes, clean the surface with a soft toothbrush and water a bit of bar soap...rince, dry ...and start again...there is always an out.
    Like the famous musician joke goes...A guy approaches another guy on the streets of New York and asks.."Excuse Me sir...how do I get to Carnegie Hall"? ...the other guy answers..."Practice Man...practice"!!


  6. Thanks ((((()))))

    Rosanna...I know...Mick had me looking at eyeballs and yes they all look weird out of the head.

    Joyce...Thank you and indeed Mick agrees with you. He is forever telling me I undervalue the quality of my plants and should up my prices. Probably a lack of confidence on my part.

    Ara...lol at the wine. I refused a vodka Saturday night because I was still doing my eyes. I can just imagine what they'd be like on wine...probably perfect for a rock star huh :-)

    Nikki...I know...just need to put the knowing into practice. I am sure the best sculptors made all the same mistake we did. Hopefully in this process I can share any tips a newbie finds to overcome them.

    Jodi... thank you big time...I had no idea I could get the paint off and try again... suddenly I am not so nervous :-)

    I did give myself a break over the weekend and made a Bird of paradise plant...somehting I can do with little frustration. That really helped me.

    My mantra is now "Practice Man...practice :-)
    Good to know my armature is like your friends.

    I'd eat chocolate in frustration with you but I'll get it on my clay :-)

    Right now I know I can clean up any mistakes on the eyes I am off to make a head :-)

  7. Everyone has given you great advice only thing I can add is perfectionism is a curse I tell ya and one which I suffer from as well but I'm learning to let go . . . . somewhat . . . .

    Hugs, Marsha

  8. I suffer from the same thing! I don't like to be wrong or fail and, while that makes me strive to be very good at what I attempt, it also makes me afraid to fail. It is something I struggle with - when I first took a quilting class, the instructor looked at me and said "You're a perfectionist aren't you?" She had me figured out very early on. I started to learn from her that I had to ease up and be a bit kinder to myself.

    You'll do it. Look at it as an exploration!

  9. One product that I've used to add a little dimension to my finished eyes is Dimensional Magic by Plaid. I think you can only get it online now but it dries to a crystal clear dome shape. I add it as the last thing once my doll is finished - it just takes the tiniest of drops. It adds a moist look and makes the eye look more realistic. And, Jayne, your first sculpting attempts are far better than anything I ever expect to see come out of my work room. You are naturally gifted...so ease up on yourself. :-)

  10. Marsha it is a curse indeed. People often comment on my pickiness but it is not a good trait to have all the time.

    Claudia...my dear...you know I think you just hit the nail on the head with that one word...FAIL. I hadn't thought of that before in all my pondering but I think you are very likely spot on there.

    De...Don't say that. I am no more or less naturally gifted than you or the next person. Beside.....who is here spending time torturing herself over eyeballs while you are producing splendid mini after mini. I have told you before you are so prolific and I really admire that in you. And the fact that you will try anything....me not so much so.

    I'll look for that product, thanks.

  11. I could have written this myself! I am a perfectionist to the core and if I don't get things right on the first few tries, i want to scream and give up. I'm working on it though ;)

    You're SO talented, don't sweat the small stuff!

  12. Jayne, as you already know, I am no perfectionist, in fact I take short cuts all the time lol! But I live with 2 for the longest time. My bro and sister SuZ. The reason why they will always be better than me is because they do not compromise and as the years go by, I see how their creative work just keep improving by leaps and bounds. The drawback with perfectionists is of course the difficulty for them to say when ..lol ..ie when not to be one, which makes working with them a trifle hard. But where you are concerned, I can tell you have the serenity to accept the things you can't change.

  13. I think alot of crafters and artists are over critical of thier own work. I definitely get the "If I can't win, I don't wanna play" attitude. But, that doesn't really lend itself to learning to make anything challenging now does it?

    *slaps us both* :D

  14. oh dear. for the doll contest at CDHM recently, i attempted my first sculpt doll and even though i used micro beads for the eyes (1:48 scale, i know i'm craaazy!) i tried to paint in the irises -after- it was sculpted. and totally regretted it.

    i think painting eyes onto the doll requires HEAPS of confidence and experience and practice...don't fret! you're getting there!

  15. Thanks Mellz.....don't give up...as frustrating as it is it will be worth it.

    Sans...serenity...me.... ROFLMAO....no :-) Temper tantrums perhaps :-) it is hard to know when you should just give up.

    April...I'll take that slap and send you one back. We CAN do this.

    Snowfern....ok you're the crazy one...first sculpt and in 1/48 LOL.

    Confidence is the key here I know but I figure if I mess up a few heads then so be it. the world won't end.


Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment :-)