Hi everyone. First time poster, long time lurker. I just have a question for you all regarding how you guys learned to draw. I'm a 24 year old Accountant. The only time I drew growing up was in art class in elementary school. And even then, by the 5th grade I stopped participating because I was so bad at it.

That being said, I had a sudden urge to learn how to draw when I was 22 and have been trying to learn ever since. I am using Betty Edwards workbook (which has been super useful!) and am also using sites like Pixelovely and the Photos from Deviantart to do drawings off of.

The problem I have is that I seem to be hitting a bottleneck. I've improved dramatically since I started but the honest truth is that my current level of work is worse than many of the "Beginners" sketchbooks I see on this site. I still can't accurately depict the gestures from photographs for the most part. The gestures that I can sorta draw are incredibly stiff. Every time I try to draw a face it looks completely different from my last drawing of that same face. I've tried reading other books like Loomis's "Figure Drawing For All it's Worth" and "The Natural Way to Draw" but alot of it just seems to be going over my head.

Now after all of that, my question is, are these the kind of things classes would fix? Or at the very least help in identifying my issues and problems? I've read that most art classes/workshops when they say "beginners" they actually mean "Beginners that has the skills to get into art school". Is this so? Would workshop/classes be useful for a person at my level? Should I just keep drawing from photos like I've been doing? How do I learn things like lighting, shading and stuff? If anyone thinks classes are useful can someone recommend one in the NY area?