The last few weeks I've been focusing on black and white studies -- mostly using Casein. I'm really falling in love with this medium. It's always tough judging values with gouache and Casein because they dry to a different value than when wet so you have to calibrate this shift when painting. But the nice thing about Casein is that if you've judged a value wrong, you can go right back over it with an adjusted value. It dries opaquely and very quickly. With gouache, you're constantly lifting off the previous layer or its being absorbed into the recently applied one so it's a constant that doesn't get resolved. Here are a few recent studies I've done with Casein.
Jen Sitting (Casein and pencil on illustration board, 4x8"). I started this study on a left-over illustration board side-panel I had cut off from a main piece. I hadn't expected to take the study as far as I did so that explains the odd composition. While the figure was painted with pure black and white, I created the background by mixing Shiva Green and Rose Red. It translated into a rich dark color that I really liked.
Sheena (Casein and pencil in Moleskine sketchbook, 4x6.5").
Here's a close-up. Her head is slightly larger than a quarter.