I have a few different pieces I'm currently working on. Here's what I've been spending my time on the passed few days. As you can see I have my photo ref posted up. If you're not into using photo reference or find yourself struggling with figurative issues, drapery issues, any other issues go get some reference. I highly recommend taking your own reference. This is consistently my most offered advice to art students besides "do art as often as possible".
One thing I've been doing lately which I find helpful is making a very low res version of my color comp that breaks down the image into large blocks of color. It makes for a nice palette guide.
I focused a lot of my initial time doing wet on wet washes on the background. I knew I wanted the background to be fairly dark and chromatic. Having these large dark areas blocked in early helps give me some relative sense of value for the figure and the rest of the piece. Painting on an all white surface can be rather misleading. Context is important and can often make things look dark enough when they should probably be darker. As you can see I've started in on the figure though she has a long way to go.