I've found it very useful to date all of my practice work. Its a pretty profound thing to pick up a random sketchbook and look at something you did and then see it was done a month or two ago and then open your current book and see how much improvement you've made in those two months.
Whether I sign or date has depended so much on how I feel about a drawing when I complete it, which is not necessarily the most clear-headed moment in the process. I find exploratory sketches that I didn't like enough to date, but in retrospect were clearly steps into better seeing/drawing -- only they contained beginner's finding-the-way mistakes one might expect, but those glitches frustrated me badly at the time. But when I look back through sketchbooks, I'm frustrated by the missing dates!
Gesture drawing have always suffered badly from this. Hopefully I can now get past that need to judge, and just date them all as a practical habit.
I have been dating my sketches for some time now, and found it exciting to see improvement. However, I came upon another artist that spoke out against this, stating it makes you look too much on the past mistakes. I don't agree with them but are there any thoughts from others on this?
Hmm, in response to Dooger, I agree with you! I definitely LOVE to look on my past mistakes, as it becomes clear what I've improved over time and where. If I had nothing to compare my newest drawings to, I would honestly be in the dark about a lot of my own skills.
And no matter what--if you've been practicing consistently--over a period of time, you will see that your drawings have definitely gotten better. No one gets worse with practice. Why get upset about how your art USED to be? That's the OLD you. This is the new, swaggier you! The old you would be shriveling in misty-eyed AWE if they saw what future them can accomplish nowadays. And at the same time, it'll make you look at your current art and go, "Well hey, maybe I'm not too shabby after all!"