Since Christmas I have filled a whole sketchbook with portrait and figure drawings, and I'm not going to stop yet. These are some of my favourites from the book. Some days I only spend five minutes, others half an hour or more. Sometimes a linear drawing, most often I draw in tonal values with shading because I think that gives me more help for my paintings. I've been using soft pencil, charcoal or graphite sticks and I'm enjoying the subtleties possible after years of shunning the simple pencil in favour of bold pen marks.
How do I find my subjects? Well some days I can sketch from life and that's preferable. Otherwise I sketch from photos that I've snapped on my phone during the previous week, or from paintings or photos I've seen online (Pinterest is a good source) or I pause a video on my iPad and sketch from that. That's a great way to sketch groups of figures in conversation, and I particularly like regency costumes so I tend to go for a Jane Austen TV/film adaptation! To be honest I'm not too fussy about the source for the sketch, and it's better to just get on and do it than to hunt around for ages for something special. The sketch always has its own life and takes on its own importance.
By the way, they don't all work out and sometimes I have to break off when I'd like to have gone further. But I know there'll be another chance tomorrow.