Yelena Isinbayeva, Russian pole vaulter.
I'm starting to really do this right now - using big soft brushes, describing form without detail, and my latest - adding in subtle tints to the skin in different areas - a little green here, some orange there, a little yellow…
It seems if you do this and get the values and the edges right then it already starts to look solid and human before even putting in details like faces and stuff.
It feels like what's happening is I'm getting control over all 3 aspects of color now - value, hue and chroma. It's weird though - I don't think about it consciously like that at all - it's more intuitive now. This is looking crazy - all airbrushy and sort of photo-real-like. In fact it has a bit of Monty Python flavor to it right now lol. I don't want my paintings to look like this!! But I do think this is an important stage in the learnin'. After this I need to start working toward a bit of stylization and making it look more painterly.