The above had a sage green background and a few other details. The faces looked flat. But not in a cool, folk-artsy flat way. So it sat for a year or better. I took an online class from Karen Milstein about faces (I think maybe particularly eyes) and that helped me work out some issues I had. Some stencils on the background, shading, highlights and so on
finally finshed this one for me.
The one below is a bit trickier. There was nothing really wrong with it except I took it too far and it was too dark and too busy. An earlier version was better.
So once again, I changed the colors completely and had a re-do. This one felt more like what I wanted at that point. If I painted it today, I'd probably come up with something again totally different. The vagaries of being an artist can be trying.