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.
If you look at the big versions of these, you'll see how scumbly they are.
I did this yesterday, just messing around in Photoshop with images from free CG texture sites.
Last weekend I got back into the drawing sessions after missing a couple of week due to holiday traveling.
This is stuff from the past week or so.