What all three of these have in common is that the gesture is expressive of what I saw. For example, in the first one, her right arm is totally wrong–I got the proportions off somehow and shortened it painfully. But I can feel the lift of her chin and the pressure her left ankle puts on her clasped hands as she holds it.
I got lost in the weeds here and spent time on the shadows along his right side and other little fritterings, and I messed up the right knee so that it looks as if his elbow sinks two inches into it (reality is unforgiving–put a line half an inch in the wrong place and your drawing gives off a big neon WRONG sign). But again, the tilt of his head is here, even with nothing drawn in but his ear and chin, and the weight of his hand on his left knee, and the twist of his body.
I fussed over the beautiful contours of his right upper arm but got them wrong and couldn’t fix it (erasing is a very limited option given the materials and time limit). What makes me happy about it is the gesture, again: his stare downward, his inward turn.
Gestures and proportions, plus light and overall energy and mood of the situation–I don’t think I’ve ever made a drawing that captures them all to my satisfaction. Maybe that is the next goal to aim for.