Okay, so I've been learning art these past couple of months and I'm interested a lot in drawing people. I've been learning basic perspective, figure drawing, stuff like that. I wanted to practice a lot more before I came here, because I thought CA was for professionals, but a friend of mine twisted my arm into posting stuff for critique.
This is really horrible, cliche DeviantArt stuff, and it's also on (gulp) lined paper. I'm on vacation and I was forced to do this before I returned home or went to an art store.
So basically, I'm asking you to take a look at the following drawings, and not tell me THAT I need improvement, but maybe point me in the right direction, recommend some books or techniques, things like that. If this is the wrong website or board for this kind of things, just let me know and I'll delete it. Thanks!
You're in the right place buddy. (Though this board is typically for crits on specific pieces, so just read my next advice about sketchbooks and you'll be good to go)
You're right, you're gonna want to do a TON of figure drawing, perspective, value, etc. studying. This site is filled with info and you can find a lot just by poking around, looking at stickies, etc. My first suggestion would be to start a sketchbook thread in the sketchbook forums. Post there AS OFTEN as possible and you will start to see vast improvement. It's the best place to get critiques on new artist studies and such and helps to motivate you. Don't be discouraged if you don't get a ton of posts at first though, sometimes it can seem like you are being ignored when you really just posted at an odd time, people missed your sb that day, etc. Don't worry about it, just keep going and people will see your dedication and post because of it.
To get you started, make sure to grab figure drawing/anatomy books by bridgman, loomis and hogarth. They are all free pdfs at this point. Check the thread Hundred's of free ebooks for some, most of loomis' are available at save loomis. For perspective, go through Perspective 101. The peer project will help with value (just follow along, don't worry about trying to get responses in that thread. Just look at the discussions everyone had and discoveries people made). Promethus' art tut is a good primer on the basics of all visual art (light, value, line, etc.). If you want video, Sycra has some great tutorials and demos.
There's a ton of free content on the internet. This site is a great hub for finding it. Amateurs are welcome (and encouraged!). Like I said, a sketchbook here is the best place to start I think. Or you can just read the content and do it on your own.
It'll take a lot of work, but a ton of people have started where you are and are now awesome. Check out Miles' sketchbook for inspiration (one of many like it!)
Just stick with it and you will be awesome! Good luck.