Learning to draw or to improve your drawing is very easy if you are willing to try a few things in a new way. To see things like an artist does. One of the innovative exercises that actually improves your drawing very quickly is to draw things without looking at your drawing at all or to look at it very infrequently. In this way you have the opportunity to really ‘see’ what you are looking at.
An easy way to practice this skill is to draw your hand holding something. This is a very complicated subject with lots of foreshortening. When we draw it 85% of the time starring at the hand and only occasionally checking the drawing to make sure lines match up we find that this complicated subject can be done quickly and it’s actually a lot of fun. It’s a wonderful, relaxing, right brain activity.
This image contains a few samples that I drew of the thumbnail looking straight at it, with the nail in 3 quarter view and also the nail in profile. They took about 4 minutes each. When we do these drawings I think it’s useful not to worry about the proportion too much and instead notice how easily they capture the spirit of the subject.