I've begun my first of seven sessions on this new portrait. This is the rough (very rough) block-in. It's not much to look at now, but so far I am really happy with it. I can tell I am getting faster and more accurate, and it's getting a little easier to see what is wrong and how to fix it.
I've finished Juliette Aristides' drawing book and am now reading Anthony Ryder's figure drawing book and am really enjoying it. Like Juliette, he really emphasizes spending a lot of time and attention on the early block-in stage to get the gesture and proportions right.