Learning to draw is not about reproducing something exactly with a pencil, charcoal or whatever. It’s about learning to see in terms of shapes, colors and values. It’s about learning to see 2 dimensionally. This is the way babies see. The brain has a default mode that kicks in around ten weeks or earlier which clumps those shapes together and defines them as objects in 3D space.
Lemme break that down into comprehensible English. Infants do not see depth or 3D objects. All they see are light and dark colored shapes. Ever see a baby grab at a light on the other side of the room? That’s the brain orienting in space. When the brain clumps those shapes together they are PERCEIVED as 3D objects in 3D space. But infants don’t perceive them as clumped together, it’s a mechanism in your brain that does this. Babies just see those 2D light and dark colored shapes.
Fact: You also see upside-down and the brain reverses what you see. Our brains INTERPRET the information our senses gather and tell us what is. They actually come between us and reality.
Your brain is telling you what it THINKS you are looking at. And it’s not always right.
(Ever see a rope in the street at night and jump cause you thought it was a snake at first glance?)
Anyhoo… When you can see those basic abstract shapes again; when you’re seeing 2 dimensionally, drawing becomes simple. It’s just a question of reproducing the shape that you see, then the next, then the next. And when looking at all the shapes you’ve reproduced on your paper that ‘default mode’ in the brain kicks in and sees those shapes as objects in 3D space, even though your drawing is 2 dimensional.
Learning to draw is about learning to see. The fact that you’re realistically reproducing an image is secondary (and IMHO largely irrelevant, except as a guide to how accurately you are seeing).