When you take an art class, as I did with Dina Wakley's face painting class, you are learning a technique. It has steps, and a certain order. As you experiment later on your own, you tweak the steps, and tweak again. Sometimes you tweak so much you get away from the original method. I like to go back to the original instructions, re-visit them a bit, to remind me of how it all began. Here's a face I did in her initial outlining method.
The background is a bit busy, and of course you can see so much of it when it's just an outline. I like this one. It's simple, proportional, and still has a bit of the personality that I'm seeing in my faces. This takes it back to the simplest of elements.