The Results of practice sessions #6-11.
Chibi-style goblin, and a female elf. Still using Sharpies, a rough-textured sketch pad, and a ont-very-detailed (but still useful) instruction book.
Same gear, but one practice session along. Experimented by shading with a colored pencil. Well, a grey pencil, actually, but it was part of a set of colored pencils.
Same setup, a more detailed instruction book. Began playing with facial expressions. Pen-lines are still indecisive. Combined with the rough paper, it made control very difficult.
Different day, same problems. Faces were also too stylized and "cartoony."
Finally getting somewhere. a set of real pens on Bristol paper. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that Bristol paper has two sides: textured and smooth. Compared to the sketch pad, though, even the textured side felt downright silky.
Session #11 -- and measureable progress at last. Good pens on the smooth side of the Bristol paper. I was still suffering from a case of the chickenshits when it came to the hair, but the pen-strokes on the face are much bolder and cleaner. I think I might rustle up some scrap paper and spend an entire session practicing nothing but long, unbroken lines until I can execute them cleanly and confidently.