I know how this feels : the portrait is a map, a terrain to be examined, studied, learnt even, placing one foot in front of the other, losing the way, regaining it. It can't be rushed and we all have to start somewhere. Engaging with the subject is as likely to bring its disappointments as its small triumphs but this is the choice made and so confronted over and over again. Maybe, at some point it will begin to come together and perhaps a beautiful line will be made , a passage will give a direction if only it can be recognized. There is no safety in staying within bounds so each attempt has to be made anew as if, as if seeing the face for the first time, as if putting down that first mark for the first time. That is what we do, one step at a time and with luck we will fail better.