It's too bad there is not a digital illustration room. Since I strated doing the portrait courses my digital illustrations have improved quite a bit as well. Even though the style is flat, knowing the facial anatomy helped me take the illustrations to the next level.
After drawing litearlly hundreds of heads over the past year I decided to start trying actual protraits. The first was a personal hero, Dr. Jane Goodall. I know what bugs me about the finished work, but curious what feedback others might offer to help me improve.
What face is better than one's own for testing your abilities at capturing likeness? I will definitely be able to tell when something is off. The image with the overlay compares the freehand sketch to the reference photo. I was actually really shocked how close it is. 6 months ago I could not have done this without using a grid overlay on a photo. This was after watching Stan's and Stephen Bauman's portrait videos and drawing about 200 heads in 3/4 view. I filled an entire sketchbook with them, often multiples per page. Finally starting to get the anatomy down. I was really struggling but one slight change changed everything: I changed my grip on the pencile to hald it more like a paint brush, higher on the pencil, and drawing from the shoulder and wrist, and using a much looser style. the change was pretty much instant. I am nervous about starting on the shading, though.