Check out Richard Schmid's website here: www.richardschmid.com
Also, his wife Nancy Guzik, is a fabulous alla prima painter in her own right. In some aspects I can see her being a mix of Cecelia Beaux, John Singer Sargeant, and Mary Cassatt. Beaux and Sargeant in her form and edges, but very Cassatt in her subject matter and intimacy with the color. www.nancyguzik.com
I finally motivated myself to photograph my Tech II midterm today, our assignment being the portrait of someone we "liked or loved... but didn't trust". For mine, I chose not to focus on an exact individual I knew in real life, but I chose a model whose persona and lifestyle evoked something that some might find dangerous. I asked a fellow classmate, Brent, to model for it. Ta-da. The figure is life size, and the canvas about 5 feet in length?
Also, for my character development project I'm thinking about designing the island of the lotus-eaters... from the Oddyssey. They aren't elaborated in depth in the book itself, so it'd give me a lot of creative freedom. We'll see how this pans out