I love painting figures, it anchors the image and translates the message. With a few variation of tones and values: it changes everything. It’s also cool the see a person emerges from a blank page.
I use photo references whenever I can: the reason is simple: getting to the wanted result faster. I deviate a lot from the pictures I take, because I want the figure to be my own: at least with a reference, I do not get stuck, painting a stupid elbow for half a day. Those who have the time and better abilities to do it all without references: good for them, for me, as a commercial artist: the deadline is always looming. Also I have not yet met a model that will pose for a few hours in the studio. (I’m also taking this opportunity to thank all my friends and family that have generously posed for me for years)
Almost there, just a few more touches.