Jez Tuya made a suggestion to do some Rembrandt studies recently and I just finished a short one as well as a Bouguereau. Learning a lot from this, value can be like an optical illusion and it's hard not to get tricked XP I keep thinking that certain areas are the same value and I end up totally flattening the piece. This is something I've always struggled with but I'm working on it so hopefully my other pieces will improve as I continue addressing my weaknesses one by one.
Did a quick layover of the original Bouguereau image during the process as well to pinpoint and drawover some of the consistently off decisions I seem to make when working on portraiture...I think I'll do some underlying structural studies after some more of these value pieces. I get too caught up in the lines and don't tune into the value and structure enough.