The beard, of course, is ridiculously complicated. Tackling it required me to break down the area into major planes and masses of value, then sculpt out the bigger forms, before fitting in the smaller ones and overlaying the texture. It was a really difficult exercise to ensure that each of the shapes was both correct in itself and correctly related to all the other surrounding shapes. The trick in doing this is to begin from the middle and work outwards. If you try to do it the other way round, you end up with either a bigger or smaller space that you need right in the centre of the cast and you have to rearrange everything all over again.
In my final few days I am intending to work on a few of the transitions, accents and reflected lights, tidy up the background and get a better overall light impression. Check back soon to see the final piece!