Hi Derrick - hey thanks for the kind words. Drawing is definitely the place to start, I sure wish I had come to that realization earlier! I have one really good book I recommend that while a bit in-depth will expose you to pretty much everything you need to know. So it might seem intimidating at first the good thing is it will last you a long time. The book is "Drawing Essentials" by Deborah Rockman. It is mainly focused on drawing from observation. A good companion book, if you are interested in more imaginitive types of subjects is Jim Gurney's "Imaginitive Realism". It covers a bit broader approach but at the same time reinforces the idea of working from life and from models (observation again). He also has some great stuff in there about art history, illustration, resources and a good list of recommended reading.
Hope that helps - take it easy and best of luck to you on your artist's journey!