I was never serious about shading or painting, but simply enjoyed the hobby as a destresser after work. My teacher I am sure must have given up on me after emphasizing for the millionth time that I need to practice drawing and shading, otherwise my painting will always be a struggle. I lacked commitment and was foolish to have not understood the value of learning under the able hands of a traditionalist.
Over time that has changed. I take time during breaks at work to quickly shade or work on a doodle as practice through the week, so I am ready for the weekend. With constant practice, your arm starts moving freely, your grip over the pencil or the brush becomes lighter and your lines smoother. In today's class, I was learning to create subtle tonal differences in the leaves of my tulips. I was trying to apply after my teacher demonstrated the technique and as I doubtfully coursed through the leaves, he quietly remarked, "..and that's why I always ask you to practice shading because it helps you work with subtle tonal differences by gently holding the pencil". He smiled and asked me to carry on with my work.