There is no substitute for practice before and in the process of actually cutting dovetails. Occasionally someone gets it straight off but mostly not. The exercises early on improve your chances of success and aiming for the bullseye of a good result is definitely a question of ‘getting your eye in’ before the real work begins.
Here’s a project I made years ago when I lived in TexasHill Country, two decades at least, and one I really enjoy having for my small stuff like drill bits, pencils and pens, special-to-me screwdrivers and hand tools and and so on. If you have made my Shaker dovetailed candle box, as have thousands of others who have been on my courses with me, then you will see that this is an alternative, more advanced composition with a dovetailed drawer. I designed it to teach drawer making but the small proportions make it just a little more tricky.
This little box is invaluable. Everyone should make it to advance their dovetailing and box-making skills, but then added to the whole process of box making I have added the complexities of drawer making with both common through- and half-lap dovetails. This will indeed take you on to a whole new level without incurring very much cost at all.
This was never developed as a box to show my best work but just a working box I made as part of my love of box making for keeping the important things of life in.
Replete with both dovetail types uniting the drawer and the main box, the drawer also has hand grooved back, front and sides to house the drawer bottom.