I am learning a lot as I practice and make mistakes. One of the biggest mistakes I was making was to place the sketchpad in my lap and draw while looking at my subject in front of me. In other words, my drawing surface was perpendicular to my subject and the perspective was distorted. The drawing would look fine in my lap, but when I picked it up and looked at it straight on, it would look squished - too short from top to bottom.
I am also being more careful in the early stages - trying to get everything just right from the very beginning including angles, placement of the features etc...
Anyway, here are a couple more pencil drawings. The first one is my son, Lincoln, and the second one is my mother circa 1953 or '54. She was a beauty.
I drew both of these while looking at photos on my computer screen...with my sketchpad held in the same plane as the subject.
Let me know if you would like to commission a portrait. It would make a nice Christmas gift, I believe.