Eight or nine Fisher Price people reside in my house even though my kids have long since flown the coop. Odd objects like these are fun to set up into vignettes, and with the addition of strong lighting, provide splendid opportunities to create sketches.
Squint and attempt to only see simple shapes of darks and lights, rather than thinking about the subject you are drawing, then recreate what you see with quick and fun sketches. Approaching your drawing in this way helps you see like an artist and help you move away from the, “I can’t draw a ….” thinking.
After I played around with sketching the toys and blocks in black and white and grays, I tossed a pile of them on the desk, drew them again, this time observing lines, shadows and shapes, then finished by adding a bit of color.
In the image above, you can see how the strong lighting on these old toys emphasizes the differences in darks and lights (or values). Again, I focused mainly on observing the darks and lights, not on a perfect drawing.
Keep it simple and by squinting again, see the subject just as a few values that make shapes. I used four different pencil crayons, shown partially in the picture, to create the sketch, black and three different grays. The paper created the lightest value of white.
It is helpful to create value sketches like these, especially before trying to paint a subject, as you begin to see the different values as patterns of darks and lights that will be the foundation of your picture. Focus on creating a whole picture rather than copying details.
The thing to remember is that you are not drawing a doll, a dog and a pinwheel, only lines, shapes and patterns of darks and lights.