I started with gestures.
Mattesi's book focuses on portraying the personality and experience of your subject. This requires close analysis of the muscles, tensions, areas of stress, etc. Every line should have an opinion by drawing in verbs. Each line you draw should describe ONE idea and ONE explanation.
The books also talks about how it is important to increase your knowledge about your subjects by studying the bone and muscle structure underneath the skin.
Here is the first set. I'm sticking with acrylic for these exercises. I figure building efficiency may require a focus on one medium. All of these gesture drawing are timed for 1 minute each-to increase my speed as well as focus on the main aspects of the birds only.