hey thank you!! @tassieguy
(bright spark!you have a very similar humour to a british friend of mine...lots of puns!)..@Summer
...I use white graphite paper and trace anything too detailed using a pen so the lines are very fine...I already draw very well but so slowly I don't want to add that burden to my work...Like you I will use grid lines if that is easier in some pieces...I have conte pencils which are chalk pastel and again use those where the surface sometimes won't hold anything else
my background colour is almost exactly the same as the one Mark teaches...maybe it comes out a bit lighter??
I am really happy using those methods so that sometimes parts show through and it suits the painting I can leave it there
this time the black is mixed too thin so I have had to use it thickly and it has made upraised lines but I don't really care after looking at Sargent's work in realtime and it has layers of brush strokes like that all over...I feel better about that sort of thing now...doesn't mean I should but I do hehehehe