In an effort to see for myself what different colors and paints do and decide what I like, I've been experimenting. For this head study I tried Rembrandt Sepia, Gamblin Flake White Replacement, and Gamblin Chromatic Black. This combination also gave me a chance to concentrate on values (more one that in a different post).
I liked using the Sepia quite a bit. It was a warm dark, compared to my usual selection of Ivory Black. I also got to experience what I've heard about Rembrandt paint as being oily and having a very smooth consistency. I enjoyed painting with it.
The Chromatic Black was a nice punch of dark compared to the Sepia. I'll need to try it with colors next to see how it mixes. If you're interested, you can read more about Chromatic Black on the Gamblin website (I thought it was interesting information but I like color theory): http://www.gamblincolors.com/newsletters/studionotes16.html
The Gamblin Flake White Replacement lived up to their product statement. Its consistency is definitely ropey and my brush strokes are mostly retained. This is the 3rd or 4th time I've used it. I'm not sure this will stay on my palette but I'm going to experiment with it a bit more to see if there's a different way to use it. I feel like I'm fighting the stiffness or thickness of the paint when I put brush to canvas. I could probably add something to the paint to lessen that resistance (maybe a tiny bit of odorless mineral spirits, or one of the alkyd mediums, or maybe a little oil + odorless mineral spirits. (No. I don't use turpentine. I don't like the smell. Personal preference.)
I'm looking forward to playing some more. Ideally I'd like to have a similar color selection in my sketching and color study media (watercolor or gouache) and my final painting in oil. I think it would make the transition from idea to final a little smoother. We'll see what happens.