If you want to learn how to draw, you have to draw from life. Learning how to draw a still-life or how to approach drawing from life in general can be a bit stressful and even a little boring at times but there's no way around it. Once you start getting the hang of it, though, you'll start noticing great improvements in your drawing skills that are well worth the effort!
A turnaround model sheet of your character can be a very useful tool. Animators and comic artists use turnaround model sheets to help them stay on-model as they draw characters from different angles and in varying poses. You can also use your turnaround sheet as a reference to create a maquette of your character.
Creating your own still life is an excellent way to begin painting/ drawing from life. You can also treat it as a photoshoot and build your own reference library. This same method can be used for a life drawing setup. Just use a person instead of an object!
Using a grid transfer instead of projecting or tracing a reference gives your finished piece a more organic and unique look. The grid helps you stay close to your reference without making you feel forced to recreate it perfectly.
Tracing paper is a great cheap alternative to a light box or light table. Tracing paper saves you the trouble of having to redraw something from scratch as you explore and develop ideas. It allows you to easily composite an image together, taking and adding elements easily without forcing you to commit to anything. It can also be used to create a clean version of a final sketch which can be transferred onto another surface or scanned to work with in a digital medium.
Using graphite paper can be really useful when you want to create something that's very realistic or if you're ready to color over a finished sketch. The graphite paper will allow you to transfer your image onto a clean sheet of paper with very minimal effort.
I decided to make my own screw post portfolio. The advantage of the screw posts is that they allow you to add or remove pages very easily. I felt that making my own portfolio would show possible clients that I have an eye for detail and care very much about my work and the way it’s presented. Plus, it allowed me to customize every aspect of my portfolio!