My guilt trip
Next, I painted the eyes to get the shapes, but not the detail. I blocked in the structure of the head and neck using Davy's gray and cerulean blue watercolors. This stage looks ghostly, but it does help you to put in strong shapes at the beginning, so you can capture dimension in the head and features. On top of the shadows, I layered thin glazes of yellow ochre, burnt sienna, and Winsor red for the skin.
I painted the lips, which really brought the face to life. Then I drew a few details in the straw hat, which I didn't want to be too busy. I also laid in the shadows on the folds of the scarf wrapped around the hat, but I decided to simplify the design and color and painted it freehand. I also painted in the detail on the earring. The one in the photo was twisted, so I used a different one from my jewel-case.
Here's the portrait after the scarf and shirt were completed. I enhanced the skin color and warmed up some of the dark shadows. I'm not sure if I'm finished. I'm thinking of softening the shadows in the neck. They need to be there, but they seem a little harsh. I didn't capture my expression exactly, but I think you can recognize me, anyway. At least, as I tell my class, it looks human. Here's a larger image.