Another 5 hours or so of work done on this and I think I'm calling it done now. I've used Polychromos throughout, except for a layer of Blackberry (Derwent Coloursoft) on the background to get it darker. I had great fun (er...not really!) trying to get an accurate digi image of my drawing. After much cussing and blaming the software, I finally arrived at a pretty faithful representation.
In trying to render the values correctly in this I think I probably overdid it a bit with the reds. This brown paper does not take as much punishment as my usual sanded papers and you cannot put light colours over dark quite so readily. I'm quite pleased with it though and I want to use it as a kind of prototype for a larger portrait of the same pose which I'll do on sanded paper.
There is something weird about this drawing. Having finished it, I've noticed that Ben seems to look about five years older than he did in the earlier version of the drawing!! Maybe my brain's addled or something but I think I've aged him unintentionally. Is it just me or does anyone else see this too? I'm not sure now which version is the more authentic in terms of how Ben actually looks. To resolve this I'm going to email copies of both the earlier draft and the finished drawing to Ben and his mum (my sister) and ask for their views. It'll be interesting to hear what they think. I'll report back.