Re: The Catcher
Jim; your technique is superb and you obviously are able to control the medium quite well. The problem is with the photo source more than with any of your abilities and we all struggle to overcome shortcomings of photo sources. There are a couple of curious things that happen in this drawing. One, the head, particularly the face of the boy feels nicely rounded and in full dimension. When we get to the helmet, it seems to be more of a flat profile and less dimensional. The catcher's mitt is troublesome because it is rendered with the same contrasts and blackness as the head/helmet and thus they end up on the same plane. The mitt hand needs to come forward more. I would have been inclined to render the head and part of the figure that is farther away with less contrast and in a slightly higher key. Likewise, the boy's lower left leg. Since the background is light, low contrast higher key forms will move back to it. Also, give the forms that are farther away softer edges, as this too will help them move away from us in the picture plane.
Another idea, one that is strictly personal and is just my own approach, would be to make his throwing hand slightly larger and the lower two fingers bunched a little tighter to give a more tense expression. If this is a game situation, the emotional content would be a little more charged and a lot of expression can be conveyed in hands. Don't be afraid to take liberties with the source when it can produce a stronger result. Geo