I found a drawing and illustration class on Creativebug taught by Heather Ross called “Drawing and Illustration Basics: Drawing Simple Shapes.”
The class starts with getting comfortable with a pencil and paper and then you begin making some drawings of basic household items.
The first exercise to warm up was to create a block of different shading by drawing to lines side by side, enclosing them into a rectangle and dividing them into eight evenly spaced blocks. Going from darkest to blank, you practice shading in the blocks.
Next, we grabbed an apple to draw it.
Lastly, she walked us through drawing a spool.
The most fascinating takeaway from the class was the comment she made when we were drawing the spool. She said something to the effect of, “Don’t worry about perspective. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If you try hard to make it perfect and it is just a little off, it will be obvious and will ruin it. If it’s evident that you are not paying close attention to making an exact replica, then what you draw will be more stylized. This version will let you add your own take on the object with your own unique style.”
This was a fun class that took the pressure off and gave me some more practice in my sketchbook.