Hello, CA I'm 29 years old and have been drawing off and on my whole life.
I've always enjoyed drawing, but have gone through spurts of improvement, followed by no drawing at all for long periods of time. I wasn't sure what I wanted out of drawing. I loved drawing faces, so I drew faces, faces, and more faces. And then I wanted to use those faces as part of pictures that people would want to look at, and I got frustrated because I couldn't get the pictures to look right, so instead I just kept drawing faces that ended up being boring and unsatisfying because they were nothing more than...faces.
I recently started to draw a picture of a brown-haired elf woman (see attachment), got her face looking decent (though not flawless by any means...the ear is atrocious and her left eye looks too flat and lacking in dimension), and realized that I was never going to finish the picture because the rest of it is BORING. There is nothing dynamic about it. It is nothing more than a pretty -- and that's debatable -- face.
So all that work would have been for nothing, except that I finally figured out what I want out of drawing. I want to paint portraits out of my imagination that are interesting and full of life. And that means learning how to draw the bodies that faces are attached to, drawing realistic movement and dynamic environments. It means studying anatomy and drawing from life, apparently. I've been lurking here a few days and have picked up some advice already
I also picked up "Figure Drawing For All It's Worth" and have started sketching human figures in perspective. Depending whether my scanner is going to cooperate with me or not, I will either upload some of my sketches today, or add them to this thread tomorrow.
And if you managed to read all that rambling, congratulations! Here's some pictures to look at.
Brown-haired elf: As described above. Used a variety of reference pictures plus my own face in the mirror.
Robot girl: Used a doll head to try to get the perspective right, and wasn't really successful as the face looks rather flat. Recent picture, maybe a month old
Blond girl: An older piece, using a variety of reference pictures plus myself in the mirror. I'm attaching this oldie because it is one of the only portraits I've done that actually includes some sort of environment.