I am astonished that artists consistently do these 30-day challenges every six months (usually led by Leslie Saeta) and keep up! It is just not in my DNA to pronounce anything finished until I am happy with it and that often takes some time. I am okay with that.
That doesn't mean I will stop doing these small paintings and sketches. I strongly believe that creating on a daily basis is great for artistic growth, so my plan is to be in the studio on a daily basis, whether that is to create a small sketch or painting or working on larger pieces.
This drawing was a challenge due to most of the face being in shadow.
You always have to subdue everything in the shadows no matter how bright it seems when you look at that area, so I darkened the white of his eye in shadow more than I initially thought it should be. Black in light is lighter than white in shadow. There is a definite distinction between light and shadow and values do are not shared on either side!
When I was doing this, I thought of Sargent's charcoal portrait drawings that I have had the pleasure of viewing. A lot of them have a dark mass behind the light side of the face. I think it lends some drama.
In retrospect, I think I should have done this on toned paper with white chalk highlights - hey, maybe I will still do that!