The photo below shows how the portrait looks after the initial blending. As you can see, there are subtle changes on the skin that give it minimal definition. Since the graphite is blended over the majority of the area, the missing highlights make a huge difference in the appearance of the skin (easiest to see on the dark ear). The harsh lighting to the right was left alone for maximum impact. This step is always exciting and a little frightening at the same time, because I know a major change is about to happen with the chiseling out of the features. :)
The right side of the face (from our point of view) held the harshest lighting and darkest shadows. So, graphite was pulled out with a kneaded and click eraser and more layers added to the folds of the ear, creases under the eye, cheek and jaw line... again, with the most noticeable change being the ear. This has to be my most favorite part of graphite work. The initial mapping can be so tedious, which is amazing since I will physically smear all of that hard work, but this step makes it all worth while. I can still make out plane changes and those careful details simply get built up to the finished product.
I put a few shadows under his face to help determine whether my shading on the lower jaw was dark enough. The face is going to be left alone until the clothing has been completed. Clothing is a major comfort zone for me, so I look forward to getting lost in the folds. ;)