How do you know when it's time to move on with your studies?
I've been studying Loomis (inconsistently) for about a month now, and have just gotten comfortable with drawing the head with graphite. It's still a bit hit and miss, and I'm not exactly sure why - sometimes an eye is slightly out of place, sometimes the nose is a bit lopsided, and so on.
How much longer should I spend on this before moving on to, say, the hands, or the figure? I kind of get the feeling that I'm procrastinating with the repeated head drawings.
If anyone's curious, some head studies can be found in my sketchbook - I'm by no means urging you to look, but perhaps some criticism is necessary.
I've been following the head construction studies for that amount of time. I've been drawing for a while now, but I only started learning about drawing foundations (construction, for example) recently.
When you went down this path, did you feel as if you were rushing? Or being too relaxed/lazy?
Move on when you feel like you understand the material you're at, or just do it anyways and continue to work on it. I doubt most people wait with figures until they can draw a human head perfectly from imagination. Really I think you answered your own question, you feel like you have a good understanding, so... Move on to the next thing? I think JeffX was being ironic because one month isn't a long time to work on anatomy, or maybe I'm just too painstakingly slow (which is true).
Just asking you to think about your own question...when do you think you should move on?
My path is likely radically different than yours so hard to say...I always feel like i'm running to stay in place.
But, I'll tell you right now that you're approach or thinking is flawed...you don't learn "how to draw a head"...then "how to draw hands"...then *fill in the blank*. The thing to focus on and study is how to see, interpret and draw...study the basic drawing fundamentals: composition, form, perspective, values (light and shadow), texture, edges and so on. Try to see the world not in terms of things but in terms of basic building blocks of form in perspective and how light effects them.
Keep things very simple at first - basic forms like cylinders, boxes, etc. If you learn how to draw you can draw anything...if you learn some formula that's all you'll know.
What would Caravaggio do?
No one can answer how long to work on something. It really depends on what your goals are... What is your end goal? Portrait work? realistic bodies, etc? If you think in terms of "I do this for one month... I do this for another month... etc... by the end of 10 months, I can draw the entire figure perfectly"... you won't see the body as a whole.
As Jeff says, what you are learning is how to see, not how to draw a head. You are learning about how to get accurate shapes/value areas relative to one another. A head is the same as an apple or a vase or a... it's all a matter of shapes/values relative to each other.