Firstly... I want to explain something about how my brain works. If I think about doing things - I mean really think, do them in my mind - it has pretty much the same effect as practising. Hence my assertation that I'm pretty sure I could silversmith without too many problems - because while never having touched a soldering torch, I've read a lot, I understand the concepts, and the behaviour of metal and I've 'done it in my mind'. This always prompts looks (or types) of disbelief if I say it but its true.
The same applies to drawing. Before lesson 1 I hadn't drawn anything in over 5 years other than evil cat pic. And before that, when I was occasionally drawing I was awful. But I drew evil cat pic, thought I'd like to learn to draw, read some stuff and started *thinking* about it. Everything bar a cube and a cylinder that I've drawn in the last week has been detailed in my journal. So I'm not practising lots, but I AM thinking about it lots. Hence getting from not-very-good cat pic to quite reasonable portrait in a week.
OK portrait... this 'lesson' had a number of aims. Firstly to try and train myself to use more than two shades of grey when drawing! Secondly to get over my stupid statement that I can't draw noses or lips. If you can draw one thing OK you should be able to draw anything OK using the same basic techniques. And thirdly it was an excercise in drawing from sight - I used a googled photo of a girl to work from. And greyscaled it to help get to grips with the different shades of grey.
I think I managed aims 1 and 2 OK although because I once again couldn't be arsed to go upstairs and scan, the picture looks lighter at the bottom than the top. Aim 3 is a different matter. It is a reasonable drawing considering, but doesn't look especially like the model I drew. But that will come with time.
Its also highlighted that I could do with reading some hair tutorials. The picture was a close up of her face so there wasn't much of her hair to work from. The hairline was entirely made up because her photo cut off before the hairline. But I'm quite pleased with it.
And this is the same picture when I'd done the structure and just started filling in detail