Current attempt (http://i.imgur.com/qjfbw.jpg)
This time, I started off by getting the Blook Ball down. Then, I transitioned to copying the examples (making sure to go through each construction step) as best as possible. I decided not to do any original drawings because the ones I did in my last attempt were so sloppy, that I felt I wasn't gaining anything from doing them.
A few of these attempts took me about an hour, as it was challenging to get the lines right. I also had difficulty with a couple of the faces, and had to redo them before I was satisfied.
For now, I have a few questions related to how I'm practicing.
At what pace should I be going through the book as a beginner? Should I be focusing on each page as hard as possible, or should I go a little quicker and just grasp the general concepts? And what do I do about the denser pages (for example, the ones jam-packed with facial emotions [pages 25-27])?
Should I set aside separate exercises to practice my technical skill?? I read through the sticky topics in this forum, and I remember reading that the ability to copy is a fundamental skill. As it stands, my technical skill is sub-par.
How much should I be learning from each individual drawing?
So far, I've learned what the book has taught about using the Blook ball to align the face. I've also made a few personal observations about how the nose and the chin are lined up, how small wrinkles/hair can be placed perpendicularly along construction lines, and how Loomis uses line weight to delineate features (mouth, nose holes, wrinkles, etc.). Are these observations enough?