Figure Painting class

I've been going to figure painting classes led by, artist, Jennifer Balkan for the past month. I started going because I've felt that my drawing skills have been somewhat lacking and I never draw from life. Class has been challenging and fun. Its forced me to think about art making a bit differently. I've realized that by doing watercolor portraiture so intensely I've let some other basic skills go. I want to spend more time sketching and working on things not to become finished products, but to build skill. I ought to be a bit more well rounded than I currently am. 

I've posted a couple of my figure paintings. They're supposed to be  monochromatic 5 value, but my values get so muddy. The left one was a 30 minute pose and the right one was 15 minutes. I'm looking forward to doing longer poses, the time always goes so fast!