I'll know I can draw better when my most sophisticated technique is no longer "the smudge" or the "scribble long enough, hope something turns up". The latter maneuvre is best practiced with the eyes half closed, a musty sense of "gesture" running the show.
After a while I forget whether the smudge was meant show distance or nearer. I couldn't tell if I was looking out the window or in. Sometimes I'd scribble further, throwing good lead after bad.
If only I could get my head out of the way--that's my latest notion. I'd just need a glimpse, my hands just a moment. There'd be sunset and traffic noise and the Court House and lots of concrete. And those people walking by, one wearing a turquoise scarf.