Like most things I'm passionate about, I don't know half measures. I'm kind of an all or nothing girl. It certainly has it's downside, but I believe brilliance was never found by spending too much time just dipping your toes in the water.
Today is all about sight-size. In it's essence, sight-size is very simple. Set your easel up next to your subject and systematically replicate your subject on your paper or canvas. There are a few tricks, but truth be told, I'm finding it requires practice. Lots of practice.
* The easel should be perpendicular to the ground. A slanted easel might be fine for fast and loose impressionistic stuff, but I noticed as my drawing skills improved I was accidentally compensating for the slant of my easel and distorting my drawing.
* The height of the canvas or paper should be even with the subject. This may require you to raise your model, cast or still life.
* Tools such as a plumb line, and straight edge can help with sighting.
I'm just at the beginning of a systematic journey towards mastery, so I'll share more of what I learn along the way.
One of the resources I'm using are Bargue Drawings, a 19th century course intended to teach academic drawing. More on that later, but you can download some images below. Heads up - it's a big file with lots of images, but has a good description of sight-size included.