I really am cracking down on myself and decided to go back to the very basics---portraits/shapes/colors/values--things you expect from Art 101 courses and whatnot. I found some great exercises on this site under peer mentoring projects in the mentoring community. So here is where I am at.
First, I have two sphere practices where one is just sitting on a table and the other is a series of skin-toned balls. Just tones.
Then, I have 20 sets of greyscale/tone practice. Yes, it took me that long before something in my mind clicked about darker colors versus lighter colors. God, I have a lot to learn. They are all in order, so it would go something like Tone 1 Grey 1, Tone 2 Grey 2, etc.
I am only posting one of each assignment on the forum here: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=76955
but this thread here is going to be a documentation of my long, hard journey. Who knows--maybe it will be inspirational or daunting to another newbie...