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Today I worked on sketching noses in Drawing with Anatomy with Tiffany S. DaVanzo. Noses have always been a challenge for me. There are so many subtle shifts in the light and shadow because the nose is round and fleshy. Tiffany did a good job explaining the bones in the nose so the angles and the lighting makes a lot more sense now. I made a couple of pencil sketches and a gouache sketch. Adding an eye or a mouth helps give the nose some context.

I also worked on an assignment for a course with Catherine Kehoe. I'm learning how to abstract heads and the figure. This is this week's assignment: a two-value study, 8x10 inches oil on board. It's been a while since I've used oil paint and I have missed the buttery consistency of oil. Acrylic paint - with all its versatility in mediums - just doesn't compare to the sensual physicality of oil paint.

Painting is a good vehicle to observe how I view and understand the world. It gives me a way to connect to my "gut" brain - the non-verbal, intuitive part of myself. I become more aware of what I like when I paint, I can consciously choose a process that feels good when I work and in the end, the more satisfied I become with the experience.

Writing down what I observe about my creative choices helps me to see patterns in my art and spurs more ideas to explore. Understanding why I like this over that helps make my work more distinctive and unique to me. I'm keeping a log of these ideas in my Pinterest account, but maybe it is time to start analyzing these Pinterest boards as I continue this #100daysofsketchbookpractice challenge.

Current Ideas and Themes: Expressive, Organic, Curiosity, Courage, Discovery.

Today I worked on Drawing Anatomy with Tiffany S. DaVanzo class on Sktchy. I know a little about the basic structures in the head, but Tiffany’s expertise as a medical illustrator is at the next level. Knowing how the different bones, ligaments and muscles connect adds a level of realism to drawing a portrait because you know what structures should exist and where.

I noticed today that I’m still impatient to get the drawing details. Pencil makes me feel like I need to be controlled and precise. I also find it hard to work flat on a table; my perspective easily skews. I need to work vertically on an easel, side-by-side with my reference. I had to erase and rework the feature two or three times so I could keep the likeness. Maybe a likeness is not so important. Maybe next time I should not use pencil, but something blunter, like charcoal.

I feel good about what I made Today. It’s not totally realistic or accurate. But there is a looseness and sensitivity that I like about it.