Our goal at the Academy of Art is to help you to reach the professional standards that are required for success in your chosen field. To that end, I will regularly post links and portfolio samples from skilled professionals that will help you to envision exactly what "professional level" standards are. I hope these will inspire you to keep your sketchbook close at hand, continually honing your skills. Also, although the books listed below are not part of the required reading material, I HIGHLY recommend them as resources that can improve your work in every art course you enroll in. Great draftsmanship skills are the foundation of great art, and with a bit of study and a lot of practice you'll find it possible to exceed even your own expectations in time!
The New Drawing on the Right side of the Brain by Betty Edwards :http://www.amazon.com/New-Drawing-Right-Side-Brain/dp/0874774241/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1283815398&sr=1-1
"Translated into thirteen languages, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is the world's most widely used drawing-instruction guide. People from just about every walk of life--artists, students, corporate executives, architects, real estate agents, designers, engineers--have applied its revolutionary approach to problem solving. The Los Angeles Times said it best: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is "not only a book about drawing, it is a book about living. This brilliant approach to the teaching of drawing . . . should not be dismissed as a mere text. It emancipates."
Free Andrew Loomis Art Instruction downloads : http://escapefromillustrationisland.com/2010/01/07/free-andrew-loomis-art-intstruction-downloads/
Full free downloads in pdf format of the following classic Andrew Loomis Art Instruction books: Creative Illustration, Drawing the Head and Hands, Eye of the Painter, Figure Drawing for All it's Worth, Fun with a Pencil, and Successful Drawing. These rare, out-of-print books are free to distribute because of their public domain status.