Painting a portrait will present many challenges for any artist. Artists consider the human form to be one of the most, if not the most difficult subjects to tackle. With the practice of portrait painting, it will help you the strive for levels of growth that are unimaginable for an artist. Try starting with painting in black and white values and remember it's not about that black or white color. It is the value of that black or white color, black and white portraits are sometimes considered the best ideal for a beginning portrait painter, as light and shadow can be better identified and represented with the form. This can be achieved easier through the use of a neutral palette.