I deliberately didn't work the Degas study to the degree I
ve been doing (last one anyway) because I'm trying to get my speed up while still being accurate. Just used a grid rather than measuring out - much much faster and quite as accurate (more?) Used only the hard round/ soft round brushes, again for speed and because they're a lot more controllable, but Jason wanted to see texture, so I fiddled around and found a way to lay down some chalk brush texture without changing the values (filled an Overlay layer with the chalk brush set really huge, lightened the image to around 30% and adjusted opacity of the Overlay until it looked good, a little more fiddling with the parameters in Brightness/Contrast). He wanted more texture, so I went ahead and spent half an hour doing tiny little dabs all over with a tiny brush to make it more closely resemble a pastel drawing.
My personal goal was really to ignore fiddly crap like that and just work the values, shapes and edges. But I figure I did that, and then fiddled around for a half an hour to make Jason happy, so it's all good. He seems to only want texture if you choose an image with a lot of it - normally people do simple thumbs with just hard/soft round brushes and no detailing or finicky fiddling and he's totally happy. Or maybe I screwed up and set the bar too high by doing a super detailed one and now he'll always expect that from me?