JaeBeam - that's looking good - a little work yet for the sky perhaps?
Sheila - glad you took the plunge!
Good start to this portrait - head looks well-proportioned and that's important! .. and yes, he can be a myriad of colours if you wish!
I think, if I'd known, I might have advised you to sand the panel after that thick gesso ( 2 or 3 coats of slightly thinned gesso would give a smoother surface).
Be careful with the tones so the head can be contrasted with the b/g - other areas may have lost edges where the tones of subject and b/g are similar - that's fine, helps to 'anchor' the subject.
Check the Information Kiosk here and the Classroom Index for various classroom threads on different techniques etc ...... the beauty of those is that apart from the host showing the hows and whys, the members also show their struggles and achievements!
PS - in the Inf. Kiosk there's also a 'Tips thread' with info about palettes.
Easy to make a 'Stay-wet' with a plastic food box, some damp kitchen towel to act as a moist reservoir, and some greaseproof paper as a membrane for placing some colour and mixing ....... if your place is particularly warm, the box can be put in the fridge.
Also in the IK, a sticky thread three down has links to useful threads for palettes, brushes, paints etc.