I think I learned it's possible to simplify something as intricate as cornrowed hair. FYI, the models cornrows were actually a mix of white and some gray and light brown strands (I'm pretty sure they were extensions), hence why the braids look so light.
Anyway, I also think I need to learn to avoid my aversion to blending, especially when it comes to faces. The models face looks a little blotchy or uneven in this jpeg. It certainly wasn't in real life. So the question becomes, is it possible to make skin look smooth while laying down tiles of color? Or would it be better to blend those tiles together? Should I do it throughout the face, or just here and there strategically? That's a line I'm still trying to figure out.
One other thing I learned was that you can get an awful lot of color out of mixing just four colors together. For the heck of it I limited my palette to just Yellow Ochre, Cad Red Light, Ivory Black, and White. This is what's known as the Zorn palette, after Anders Zorn, the Swedish painter whose work is amazing. I just ordered a book of his work and it's one amazing piece after another, especially his watercolors. It should be illegal to have that much talent. But I digress.
Practice, practice, practice.
11 x 14 - Oil on Canvas Paper