What I enjoy most about drawing is the purely gestural, observing information and than interpreting it into a different format.
With that in mind, I've started doing series of drawings based on photographs of my favorite blogs. I feel as though they're great exercises for me in learning how to control pen and ink. And overall I become more comfortable in learning how to play with proportion, color, etc.
I use references because I feel for me, if I am guessing what the gesture will be, I lose a sort of vitality. This is due to me trying to get something "correct". Another aspect for this series is that they overall are quick, and dont usually take more than an hour to two hours to complete. This is to ensure an overall liveliness at the expense of flaws that I will learn from.
My first two are of the Aldridge family which I am sure every Texan who's remotely interested in fashion has heard of. What I love about their blogs is the phenomenal collection of fashion they have amassed, while never coming across as "status obsessed". There is also a great sense of playfulness that I find very inspiring.
The second image was the quickest, only taking about 45 min to an hour. Often I will either do the whole thing at once. After time has passed I go back and try to look at it with a fresh eye.
The first image (my favorite) was similar except I took multiple breaks while I was working on the texture of the fur. I do like the combination of wash with the heavy line but hindsight is always 20/20.
Let me know if you'd like to see the original reference photos. I am abit too lazy at the moment to go look for them since I did not save the photos after I was done.