Can someone maybe point out how to refine this study?
I feel like the color range and hair details can be pushed further.
What did I do right? What did I do wrong?
I started from a base sketch, and tried to refine things a bit using only 1 round brush on the portrait, and a speckled brush on the bg.
Hmmmmmmm... Looking good so far, one thing that you did "right", that I notice a lot of people make a mistake on is having the light parts of the neck not go nearly as light as the brightest parts on the face. It really helps push it back to where it should be.
For the hair, I would say don't have the whitest lines running all throughout. Have there only be that lightest bit on the parts of the head that need to be accentuated the most, like around the crown of the head. Also with the head, have the edges be darker to give it a rounder feeling up towards the top.
hm... maybe give the forehead, top of the nose, and lighter cheekbone a little roundness by accentuating where the light would hit, instead of having them all the same shade as the other light parts. i.e., the lighter part that you have under the nose, would still not necessarily be as light as the part of the cheek that is to the left of it, or the forehead. Trying looking at some pictures, or preferably yourself in the mirror, and see where things are lightest and where they really need to have the illusion of curving away or being pushed back.
Also, the corners of the mouth need to be a little darker, as it's where the lips pull back and meet together. And just a little shadow maybe underneath the bottom lip.
Not gonna lie, portraits are hard. But you've got a great start, the proportions look nice. =) Keep truckin