Definitely struggled a bit with the first one and getting proportions right and so forth. I've always had issues capturing the facial features just so. I took about 1.5 hours instead of one on this. I hope I'll be faster with the next one. Gonna push myself to hit that mark a little more... Anyway...
Head of a Negro by Sir Peter Paul Rubens.
I read that Sir Peter Paul Rubens met the man at some docks and was fascinated with the man and his bronze complexion. I studied the emphasis of this piece and particular and where Rubens decided to put most of the detail and effort: on the lips, and nose, particularly, highlighting and contrasting the fullness of the man's lips and the contours of his nose. The shirt and hair were only lightly rendered, keeping a simple economy of work, while putting the most detail in the eyes, nose and lips. He spent very little time on the facial hair, which begins to blend into the background. Dark pools of paint are placed behind the man's head to increase the contrast and add balance. With a dark-skinned subject he could have chosen to put a light background behind the man, but instead chose a nearly black one so that the man could "glow" against it instead.
Loved this picture, and I loved doing this study, even if I messed up the proportions a bit.