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Do still lifes first
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Before you even open up a loomis book you should practice still lifes.

The meme spam on here can be very harmful to new artists.

Loomis expects a decent understanding of the fundamentals before you start copying from his books.

Still lifes are the best way to get better at the fundamentals. My drawings all felt flat before I started doing still lifes. Pic related.

This is after just 3 days of still lifes.
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This is before the still lifes
Still needs practice (obviously), but I'm glad to see it's helping.
How about just shapes and drawing from life?
You pick up an innate sense of form faster by constructing still life's.
>drawing from life
>still life's
That's exactly what op is speaking of brah
Congratulations, you got it. This is what every artist has to understand crawl->walk->run. Everyone wants to buy a cintique and paint a Rua-nior in an hour and it doesn't happen that way. Learning to draw doesn't mean learning to draw people. It means learning how deconstruct anything and represent it with shapes and lines. Putting it lamely, you're learning to see through the Matrix. When you learn to draw, it means you can draw anything by then studying its shape language. If you can only draw one thing, you haven't learned to draw yet. It's so much easier to learn all the skills you need by drawing simple shit rather than people, and when you do, learning to draw people is waaaaay easier. That said, it doesn't hurt to study anatomy along the way because that's still cumulative so you can use as much exposure as you can get. But find the joy in drawing cups and you will never get stuck on drawing anything else.
How should I approach still life's? I worked my way through keys and right side a while back and I've done a good amount of still lifes, however, those books teach the site size method where you're focusing on copying the lines and negative space, not thinking about the form underneath. Should I be constructing them?
Doing the whole copying of lines and negative space should be an afterthought, as in

>observe subject from a certain angle
>try to construct it in the exact angle that you see it
>start with big shapes for overall shape, down to smaller shapes for details
>compare and contrast
>"does it line up with what I'm looking at?"
>if no, you probably didn't construct it right, or didn't recreate the angle that you meant to
>see mistakes
>try again, still with construction in mind, until you construct something that looks somewhat like a 3d model scan (just exaggerating) of the subject your observing.

You want to think less like a camera, and more like a 3d scanner. It looks like shit for a while, and you make pretty bad mistakes, but after consistent practice you start to get good results. The whole "negative space/copy the lines" method has its uses and is pretty good for being able to observe proportional relationships and eye out distances, but for me personally, it never really helped understand WHY something appeared a certain way from a certain angle, and how to recreate it without reference. The construction method does alot more to inform you about the way the object looks, because instead of seeing it as a flat shape, you're visualising it in 3d space, and thinking THROUGH the form. It also develops an innate sense of depth that will leak into your work done from imagination.
still lifes usually indicate inanimate objects arranged, like in the vanitas tradition. i meant drawing from life to be all inclusive, including people animals etc

miss the most essential thing. create a frame for your drawing first. get a view finder, or make a box with your fingers, and put that box down on paper with the same proportions. so either (1) go with the proportions given by your paper/canvas, or (2) pick one and draw it on paper.

it's hard to extract shapes from thin air (quite literally). create an imaginary frame IRL and utilize that to compose your picture.

personally I'm a bigger fan of going with shapes and negative spaces even when drawing from life. however anon is absolutely correct in understanding things in 3D.

go draw boxes, spheres, and cylinders. a lot of them. those are (arguably) the three basic geometric forms that you'll be able to recognize. they'll also be the foundations for figure drawing.
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