When I was in middle school, I was drawing cartoons. Mostly Transformers and Robotech. I did not have a camera nor were cell phones invented yet, thus I was not able to save photos of those drawings. I didn't know it at the time, but drawing cartoons was a good progression to learning how to draw. It makes you focus on proportions and line weight. It also is good practice learning to draw free-hand. I learned all that before I learned how to shade. Now that I can add light and shadow, my drawings went from cartoon to realistic looking.