I'm always looking for opportunities to improve, especially with my art skillz. That means that when appropriate, I will sketch during meetings, classes, church, or in between tasks at home. It means that any time I go on vacation or get a chance to stare at something long enough to jot a little representation down, I'll take my sketchbook along.
We recently went to the Bean Museum with that crazy youth group that I love so much and I took my sketchbook along for the ride. Don't judge, but what I'm about to show you are gestures only, not real or finished drawings by any means. I seriously only had seconds to complete a couple of these because our group was moving fast as lightning:
Gesture drawings mean I try to capture the general shapes and movement and not necessarily the detail. Drawing in pen meant I couldn't erase and redraw incorrect lines or shapes and that I had to draw over in order to correct and redefine the shapes. Admittedly, the first couple were pretty rough because it's been a while since I've tried timed drawings. Once I was able to gauge the timing a little better, though, I was able to get more detail and essential shapes in before moving on. These sketches are in order of appearance in my book, and I can definitely tell a marked improvement as I flexed and stretched my dormant gesture muscles.
Moral of the story is that regardless of how much time you have, the important thing is to keep practicing. I'm planning on going with my family again soon and taking a little more time to refine my output. So, we'll see how that turns out next time. Wish me luck! Meanwhile, are there any tips you have on continual practice? I'd love to hear!