I have been experimenting. I thought I had settled on Creative Paperclay as the best I had found and was trying to do some figurines. Takes way too long for me. Creative Paperclay is too mushy for me, it's about the consistency of bread dough. After getting the basic shape, I can't get any more detail in the mush and have to let it dry and then carve and sand for detail. Takes too long. I have 3 sculptures unfinished because I'm just tired of working on them. Too much down time waiting for the stuff to dry, which is why I did three at once. I figured I would always have one to work on. Didn't work out.
I went back to the first clay I ever sculpted with, Amaco Terre Cotta clay. This is clay that needs to be fired for strength, I don't have a kiln. I don't care. It was so nice to just sculpt again. First thing I did was sculpt a bust of a woman, from my imagination. I was going to sculpt a smiling Viking woman with a helmet on. She started looking African so I went with that, then changed her features a little and she just looks like a determined woman. One day, a few hours, and I was done. Not completely done, some sanding and not sure about that base.
I went and got some more clay and tried to sculpt Audrey Hepburn. Maybe not quite right, but pretty darn close. (not dry in this pic)
The Stonex sculpture I did was a little too big for only 5 lbs of clay, or my armature (loosely wadded up newspaper so it can shrink with the sculpture as it dries) was a little small, most likely the latter. I tend to keep adding to fix things rather than reshape, keeping a watch on that. I ran out of Stonex and used LaDoll to finish her hair, thus the very white parts of her hair. Stonex is supposed to be white, and here you can compare to the whiteness of LaDoll (the very white) and the whiteness of Stonex.
I went back to Michaels and picked up a box of Marblex, their last box. I learned my lesson from spraying water on the sculpture and didn't spray very much. Marblex never got sticky like the Stonex did. It looks like about the same color as Stonex, though I haven't let this sculpture dry yet, still working on it. I also ran out of clay and used Amaco Artists' Modeling Clay, which is an air-dry clay. Very nice stuff but probably doesn't dry as hard as Stonex or Marblex.
I ordered 50 lbs of Marblex from www.Hyatts.com . Good price. With the shipping, probably the same price I would get by ordering through Michael's. But I don't trust Michael's. They take forever to re-stock their shelves and I have found moldy (yes, mold that grows) clay there. And customer service is almost non-existent. I will say when I do talk to someone they are very nice and helpful, just rarely happens to catch someone who isn't trying to avoid customers.
Now that I've found a good self hardening clay which is durable and workable. I'm thinking I might set up a shop locally for portrait sculptures and whatever else my mind comes up with to sculpt. Sculpting a person right in front of me is a lot easier than sculpting from a few pictures. I don't need the person in front of me all the time either. Who wants to sit still for hours? Not me. See ya.