More Gestures, and a still life, which, by the way, was a bit of a struggle, It's not very accurate, but I was more interested in shading it anyway.
catukas- Thanks for the support!
Nice book so far man. Keep them coming!
Glad you're back and kicking again. The important thing is to just stay with it. The beginning part is the most challenging since you're struggling to overcome the gravity of old habits that are pulling you away from starting (and sticking to) new ones.
Just keep at it!
Just so you know... gesture drawing won't teach you anatomy, really. That's what longer studies are for. Instead, the point of gesture drawing is to get the "gist" of something in loose, sweeping strokes. Don't worry so much about every anatomical detail and things like shading. Focus on the form and sense of taking up space, weight distribution of the model, and learn about things like balance, gravity, etc and how it affects the model's body. Also, remember that learning from photographs is probably one of the hardest things since it automatically flattens the image. You would probably be much better served going to a busy street and just drawing people. Or, if you happen to have a family member or family pet (that doesn't mind), follow them around and draw them. You'll learn oh so much more because you'll actually be drawing real people in real three dimensional space.
Do continue with the photo studies and gesture work, but know and understand why you are doing it and how best to direct your efforts. Additionally, don't be like me and forget to match gesture drawing with slower studies. Both are pretty essential to well rounded artistic growth.
If this makes little to no sense, feel free to ask me. I'll do my best to answer.
syrella - You are absolutely right. I might have lost sight of that. I am definitely gunna follow your advice. I guess I'll have to get outside and start drawing people, which kind of scares the hell out of me.
Mr.Pryminista - You are not kidding! Between the frustration and getting in to the groove of doing something new again, its certainly been a challenge. Thanks for the encouragement, its words like yours that help push me.
catukas - Yeah, That's something that I have noticed too, and intend of fixing.
Sorry, I didn't have time this morning to post any pictures, and probably wont be able to until tomorrow night
To practice just plain' old drawing skills, practice things like perspective drawing and do lots of still lifes. Learn about how to represent basic shapes in 3D space and how to "construct" an image from scratch.
For learning human anatomy, signing up for a figure drawing class is probably your best bet. Short of that, you could also pick up a copy of any artist's anatomy book and work through them, looking at some of the muscles and bone structures. Bridgman and Loomis are the most highly recommended ones I see (for Loomis, you can find free ebooks on the internet, so no purchase necessary).
Long story short, everyone has their own little method of learning. Draw fun stuff so you don't get bored. If you stop seeing improvement, it isn't that you lack the ability to draw. You just might not be practicing as effectively as you could be. So don't lose heart! It's a long, slow road ahead.