Ha! I haven't. Since last time I've been progressing in "Drawing on the right side of the brain", checking out more web lessons, and trying some new paper to draw on.
I'll start with the first. In the last update I was working on what they refer to as "modified contour drawing". This means that when drawing the contours of something you're not looking away from the drawing at ALL times, only most of the time. You draw very, very slowly, looking briefly at the paper to ensure that the angles and lengths are correct. This supposedly engages the right side of the brain, yielding better results than if you were using the symbols of the left part of the brain. This TED video talks about this subject, though not so much with regards to drawing. It's definitely worth watching.
The final parts of the contour section has you practice drawing things with complex contours, like flowers. I went and grabbed some a few days ago, left it on my desk, found it looking far more sad in the morning, and got to drawing. It turned out okay.
Next came the chapter on drawing portraits, which I've been looking forward to. It does a great job of teaching placement all the facial features we share, where they're typically found in relation to each other, and size. This REALLY helped, though I'm still having problems drawing a decent looking cranium. With practice I'm sure that'll get easier, so that's what I'm doing today.
While this book serves very well as an intro to portraits I've also found quite a lot of videos on youtube (and various "file borrowing sites") - not only on faces as a whole, but also more in-depth talks about eyes, ears, hair, expressions, poses, and so on.
This guy has a lot of good ones, along with premium lessons that you can buy at his site.
When you read a bunch of intro to drawing sites you can't help but also read a lot about pencils, charcoal, conté, and paper. Some paper is smooth, and some is not. Some is suitable for painting, some for drawing, and some for charcoal.
So far I've been using a cheap A3 sketch book, which works okay for my modest needs. What I've noted though is that although I'm using an 8B pencil - supposedly one of the darkest you can find I haven't been able to achieve the blackness levels of the books I've been reading, where they've only used a 6B. That's not really fair, right?
Well a friend gave me a "Fabriano Accademia, 200g/m2 94 lbs" book, which is notably coarser. I'll update this with a comparison pic as soon as I can get around to it, but in short I get blacker blacks with the stuff I've got around here, so I'm happy. In the future I'll definitely get (compressed) charcoal sticks too, but for now I'm good.
Here are a couple of tests I did to see how dark I could get the black tone