I started off here doing a blue wash over the entire piece then while still really wet using a paper towel to lift up the paint to maintain some light areas. In this case I was mostly lifting up around the figure. Afterwards I blocked in fairly flat colors in the background. Building up the painting all over tends to be a slow process so giving myself something to focus on like the hair helps to keep me going and feels like I'm making more progress. Though, I think there does need to be a little bit of paint everywhere so that there's some context to compare to see if an area is dark enough, chromatic enough etc. In the end there's always a lot of back and forth pushing and pulling values and colors.