I experienced a last minute panic on this one. I'd uploaded the first version for the client but felt very shaky about it, so I decided to try something to reconcile my misgivings.
Believe it or not I absolutely slaved over the bottom image. Two days of painting and re-painting to no satisfaction. The idea worked OK in the sketch, and the client approved it, but when I brought color into the game everything fell apart. I was shooting for my usual neo-primitive treatment of the face, but the guy is just too damned good looking to deserve such injustice. Ultimately, I erased the goofy stuff, did a quick, minimal trace of his features and overlaid it on the painting, making adjustments to the skull to accommodate. Surprisingly, while I thought I'd distorted his head significantly in my first attempt, it was almost dead-on in the contour. Weird.
Anyway, this one's done. My butt's killing me from sitting for three days straight. God bless the dogs for their patience—they've been amazingly calm and loyal.