Eventually, most artists want to include the figure in their work, either as the subject or as an element of the composition. It's common to be intimidated by one's own expectations of how it is going to turn out. Drawing problems, color, proportion, etc. all create challenges.
But what if you eliminate the worry of disappointing your subject or not creating a "likeness"? Choose statuary and your model doesn't move, squirm or need a break. You need a subject with a lot of character. Gnomes are hard to find in the wild, but there are lots of domesticated ones available right in your area. Simplify the process by sketching with line and wash.
"Gnome" out on a limb and give a try. It's a lot of fun!