Lately I've been into studying value and painting in black and white. I really like these value studies because you can work really fast and it helps you to focus on the structure of the person and not get lost in color. Value is what makes or breaks an image. you can have the coolest drawing and the best color pallet but if the values are off then the painting becomes weak. It's the glue that holds the painting together.
For example you can take anyone of Norman Rockwell's paintings and desaturate it and it will still work. Why, you ask yourself? Because the values are correct. You can see in the example below that the colors in this painting are warm and vivid. As soon as you take out the color the painting is still very strong. The lights and the darks are right where they need to be and the color is a secondary element.
I still have a long way to go in my artistic journey and am no where near Mr. Rockwell not even in the same universe. However with each painting good or bad I learn a ton and am excited to move on to the next challenge.