Eggs! Draw eggs! Get three eggs, compose and light them any way you want, then draw them. I studied under a portraitist/muralist who taught portrait drawing and figure painting at the local community college. While drawing/painting in conte and pastel from the figure he would also assign us early on to draw eggs as described above, using 18x24 rough newsprint and red, brown and black conte, not only to understand the "pure form" of the egg as an analogy for the head, but to sensitize us to that ovoid form's recurrence throughout the figure; the deltoid, the thigh, certain views of the ribcage, and so on. even the way the shell takes light recalls how our skin divides into light and shadow (hint:watch the edges).
In 5 years of working with this artist I had many class-mates who found egg-drawing tedious, dull. Fools! I always found the creative outlets of lighting and composition a blast. I'd try to find a three egg comp which presented three different views, I'd try to think like my favorite film directors when it came to lighting. "How would Fritz Lang light and compose this?" The Fritz Lang eggs are included below, guess which. (hint:my instructor said of the drawing in question that he found it disturbing that a man newly become a father should interpret the universal symbol of birth as something so sinister)
Anyway, here they are from something like 6 years ago. Gotta do some new ones myself...
"Three's so little room for error."--Elwell