edit: 04/28/11 : updated the subject line to include digital artwork as well.
I was wondering if there were some pen and/or pencil sketch artists in the house. I am trying to learn to draw, and so far it's been like a fish trying to learn to ride a bicycle. I tend to get frustrated. I've been reading the books, and the various websites on drawing, and almost all of them repeat the mantra: "anyone can learn to draw".
One of the books I have is "Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain", and in that the author explains that a brilliant attorney, for example, can excel in many areas of advanced thinking, but hand him a pencil and pad, and he'll draw like an 11 year old (stick figures, simple features, poor symmetry, etc). She explains this is because the onset of adolescence is when most people quit drawing. So essentially, we're taking up where we left off. As children, we love drawing (and coloring, painting, etc), but adolescence brings on the more analytical mind, which sees in symbols.
For those of you who draw/sketch, how did you learn? Did you take art classes? Did you read books? Did you have to practice many, many hours or did it come 'naturally' to you?
I'm a beginner, (perhaps 1 to 2 months total experience) and if I were to just sit and draw on a blank piece of paper, it would indeed resemble a simplistic kid's drawing. I can look at other drawings, and mimic what I see to a lesser degree, but I can't just draw from my mind.
I'm really curious about the specific details of how you approach a drawing. Before I go into more questions though, I'll see if there are others here interested in discussing this.
edit: Wanted to note that I'm aware of materials quality being an issue, and I do have decent stuff:
* Prismacolor premium pencils, 12 pack ranging from 6H up to 4B (not colored pencils)
* Canson sketch pad, 70#, acid-free
* good quality erasers
* other tools like geometry edges, tortillon, etc.