I'm still here, and still drawing stuff!
Here's some proof, a self-portrait from figurative concepts:
Besides the size of a few features being off, I consider this a success--it looks like me! I've done a few self portraits before in the olden drawing classes of days gone by, but learning to use the chiaroscuro style, where cast shadows define the forms, is a huge step forward. I like when there's a system, a set of steps to hit along the way. It helps me stay focused and to keep going until I know I'm done. I like how Nicolas explained the head drawing process: it's like focusing a camera, starting with blurry shapes of dark and light, getting everything in the right place and then slowly refining all of the shapes so it slowly comes into focus all together. Remembering that keeps me from getting caught up in little details too early.
Speaking of getting caught up in little details-- I've begun animating my short film, "Sea-Lion Around". I started drawing very lightly and just blocking in the characters' shapes, with little cross-hairs indicating where their faces will be looking. It was a good move, because after showing it to an instructor I was promptly informed that my camera positions are breaking the 180 Rule! (Layman's Terms: you couldn't tell which character is which because despite the fact that they're facing eachother, they both appeared on the same side of the screen in their close-ups...) Wrong positions, wrong angles--drawn WRONG, but drawn lightly! So it was relatively manageable to erase and reposition them.
Aaaaand I've got 'em, so I may as well post 'em: Character designs for Sea-Lion Around!!!!
Here's the little layout I drew to avoid breaking the 180 Rule... See? I was TRYING to do it right!