Above is my 1st attempt at drawing the classic Asaro head from life. I've done very little drawing from life and was never very good at it. Proportions came out pretty weird, but I understood why - basically I started with the Loomis circle, and for some bonehead reason I then extended the face out in front of it a little ways. Derp!! I also just failed to really be checking everything against everything else before darkening in my lines. So I decided to do it again the next night (tonight).
Dramatic difference!! I switched from an HB to a B Conte pencil, which I like a lot better, and also pulled the few remaining pages out of the newsprint pad (I was getting the cardboard texture effect in yesterday's drawing) and just clipped them directly onto a drawing board. That in itself seemed to make a big difference. My shading went down so much smoother and I felt like I had much better control. Oh, also wore my glasses for this one. That gives me a really tight level of detail control, almost like a super power! My shoulders hurt a bit less than they did last night - getting stronger I guess. It ain't easy holding your arm out in front of you for over an hour!! Need to get on those shoulder endurance exercises. Oh, another difference - I lowered the easel to mid chest level - yesterday it was mostly up around the level of my face. Which was awkward and doubtless why my shoulders hurt so much. Weirdly the left trapezoid always hurts more, though I draw right-handed - stabilizing I suppose.