So I've been reading Richard Schmid's book ALLA PRIMA Everything I Know About Painting recently. In it he suggests monochrome paintings as a way to get used to the brush. Doing a monochrome painting all you have to worry about are value and edges. You don't have to consider color, which is for me the most time consuming part of painting. It's like drawing with a third dimension.
I did these two the last couple of nights. I figure if I'm just sitting around my apartment I might as well be productive, even if it entails staying up a bit too late. The male one is a self-portrait. I don't think that I really look like that. Kinda interesting how all my self portraits look different.
The reference for the female one was a painting by Sargent. I intended when I started to do a full color attempt to copy it. But it was too late and I started to like the energetic brushstrokes. So I stuck to the one color. It's still a bit too cartoony for my liking. The eyes especially could use more attention, and the entire face is off centerline. So I need to pay more attention to drawing foremost and energetic brushstrokes second.