Maybe I need to do more of those with my students; I think I'd forgotten how useful they are for getting through that initial anxiety and the incredibly mean internal editor. I'm a beginner! No one expects my hand to actually look like a hand on the first go! It's okay, really.
Here are the first two sketches (yesterday and today), along with photographic evidence of my labors. :-) I like these graphite pencils Karina got me, but they are messy. It's okay for art to be messy. And bad. It's okay. I think I'm going to be telling myself that a lot in the next six weeks.