Here's a couple more quick illustrations I've been working on over the past few days. I wasn't sure if I liked the kind of "paint-by-numbers" effect I employed on the second one, but now that I see it posted, I think it's growing on me. Those big bold areas of color make for a really graphic and captivating image I think. I don't want to do a lot of blending in these. I'd much rather let the patterns of solid color speak for themselves (like a color/hue map of the face and head).
I find it interesting that the first one is so sweet, and the second one seems so sexy. Lighting, the facial expression, and the focused glance of the subject can have a huge effect on how the image is perceived, and the mood portrayed.
I'm currently reading a book by UK comic book artist Glenn Fabry, entitled "Muscles in Motion." It's a very short read, but the illustrations and written tips are excellent. This guy spent years (not to mention 2 VCR machines) freeze framing female bodybuilding and playboy stripper tapes, to do over one thousand sketches for his own comic book figurative reference. It's a fascinating study in the female form. I highly recommend it.