I have been doing master studies this month, and I can't believe that I have not been doing this all along. Just from this one exercise I have learned a ton about texture, value, and brush calligraphy. I plan on doing more of these every month, and then applying them to my own personal work. This one is called "The woman in the black dress" by Cecelia Beaux. Here is a little bit about her:
"Cecilia Beaux (May 1, 1855 – September 7, 1942) was an American society portraitist, in the manner of John Singer Sargent. She was a near-contemporary of American artist Mary Cassatt and also received her training in Philadelphia and France. Her sympathetic renderings of the American ruling class made her one of the most successful portrait painters of her era."