I've just completed a portrait of Peter Steele and it turned out rather well. I'm always a little surprised when I have success with people portraits, mostly because I so rarely do them. I will admit my first attempt failed. I couldn't find a suitable photo reference at first and a good reference is crucial. I also tried a non-conventional palette the first go around and it did not work. I had to try though.
The palette I did settle on was fairly typical for caucasian skin tones...Alizarin Crimson and yellow ochre. I do prefer DS Moonglow in place of cobalt blue because it will give me a full range of values. I added DS Quin. Burnt Scarlet and used it as the color on the lip area. This is the first male I've painted and I was able to create a more 'manly' lip color with this shade. The Quin. Scarlet also combined well with Moonglow to give me a nice neutral. For his hair, I did an under glaze of Indathrone blue, a staining color. I then mixed a black with the same blue and burnt sienna and went over the entire hair area, lifting out the blue highlights afterward with a stiff brush.