|drawing by paul rodecker|
Learning to draw (better) requires both physical and mental practice. The above drawing represents a way to practice both.
The idea is to draw in a continuous circular motion while applying more pressure to the pencil near the bottom of the circle (or oval) and less pressure near its top section. The drawing speed should be as fast as you can go without losing the ability to be somewhat accurate with your circle placement, and consistent with application of 'more pressure and less pressure.
This is very much a exercise focusing more on Gesture than Detail.
It's okay to start of slow, so you can get the feel of the movement and it's pressure points. However, you'll find your 'groove' very quickly, and that's a great time to start moving/drawing faster. Try to push your pace to the point of losing control, and then back off a bit. You'll know your going to fast if drawing starts to loose consistency of shape or pressure placement. If you're getting bored, you are going to slow, and are not challenging yourself. After some trial and error, You'll find the speed that works for your current ability.
Here's what's I find very interesting and wonderful. If you do this and other exercises with enough passion and interest, some beautiful drawings will come from just practicing!
So, give this little drawing-exercise a whirl. I try to work on big paper so I can use my whole arm when I do this exercise, but working at smaller scales is just as effective.