Man! Ears are so incredibly intricate and amazing! Not to mention that ears can be so different from person to person. I understand now that a lot of the reason why I can't find a good "system" for drawing ears is because it'd be darn near impossible to make one; you'd have to change it for nearly every ear!
I decided that, while I was at it, I should incorporate everything else I've learned thus far into my drawings... By drawing the head and face as well. I got the chance to draw a couple of children's heads, which is good, because childhood proportions are way, way different from adult proportions.
While looking in my photo collection for ears (people have a bad tendency to cover them with hair, blargh), I found an interesting fellow with a wonderfully crooked face. I decided to go all-out on him.
If you look really closely, lots of people have crooked faces, or at the very least, crooked noses (I know I do!) Most trained artists also know that actual symmetry in the face is rarely achieved in life. I think perhaps as we age, these nuances become more and more apparent, possibly because structures underneath the skin are no longer padded and smoothed over by full, youthful flesh.
After the drawings above, I felt I had grasped the anatomy of the ear well enough to try a system... It actually worked out pretty well!
I'll find some time tomorrow to explain the system and draw a "how to" of sorts. However, I will note that it will only work if you already understand the anatomy of the ear to a certain extent. It is not a substitute for study of the ear in life!
(By the way, if you're wondering where I got the above and below views of the ear... The answer is I didn't have any. I also couldn't make use of a mirror for those particular angles, so I had to go by touch alone. My right ear has been fondled more times tonight than I care to mention.)
Also, I didn't get a quick paint done tonight (boo!) I'll have to make sure I do two tomorrow to make up for it.