Worked a fair bit more on this, as you can see. I've just had a tip from Pauline Longley about applying mineral spirit to the base colours and then continuing to work on as usual. Thanks Pauline, I didn't think of that! I'm not a big fan of solvents to be honest as I'm not too bothered about having a smooth finish, however, it may have been useful here in getting a smooth light base to work from. Can't do it on this one now because I've done a lot more work on it.
After a lot of brain-racking about the waxy light pencil problem, I thought maybe a different kind of pencil might help so I dug out a neglected tin of Caran D'Ache Supracolor water-soluble pencils. I figured they are harder and not so waxy as my usual cps. I have a set of 120 so a good colour range and I'm using them dry. Bit of a gamble, they could be really scratchy, but they are going down really well on this paper and they sharpen to a lovely fine point!
You won't believe the number of times I've almost ripped this picture up. I vacillate between thinking "this is utter c**p, why am I wasting my time?" and "oh it's not so bad, I'll keep going and see what happens". Well I've kept going and I'm in positive mode at the moment. The main problem I'm having is trying to get smooth transitions between shades of colour ~ so important for drawing skin. I seemed to manage this ok on my previous portrait (Rachael) but I think this is harder because the paper colour is so dark. I'm doing a lot of colour testing around the edges of this drawing and using up a lot of cotton buds blending too! It's all good learning I suppose. Lots more to do so I'll soldier on, including adjusting his left eye which is too big.
It's anybody's guess whether my next post will be this portrait or a flower image I've got my eye on!