Lol! Okay, it's my own recipe and here is what I do in greater detail...
I buy myself a pad of A2 medium weight cartridge paper and I get myself a pot of water and a cotton polishing cloth.
I prepare a pallette with a squirt of burnt sienna, raw sienna and white acrylic, and I open a can of emulsion (interior matt latex).
I soak the cloth in water and wipe it briskly over a sheet. Then I dip the rag in any combination of the paints and sweep it over the surface and leave the paper to dry thoroughly. It can curl a bit but it soon flattens out once dry when packed flat into my drawing case between my drawing boards.
Each sheet takes probably less than 2mins to prepare and it gives the surface excellent key for conte crayon.
My girlfriend originally told me to use teabags but it took ages to build up a decent stain so I decided to use paint instead.
Love the rendering, love the way you draw light and shadow. Wish you wouldn't shy away from drawing faces so much. Attack the faces head on, screw up a bunch of 'em, and you'll develop a comfort level with them.
I have ruined so many nice pieces over the years by messing up the face that it has knocked my confidence. I would rather have a headless piece than one with a dozy face. That said, I am working on faces carefully at the life class and trying to see where I am going wrong before it happens.
I am about to visit a weekly portrait group shortly in a bid to tackle the problem head-on, so to speak!
Thank you all for your comments, they are appreciated. Here are some from Tuesday, two models, same pose (50min, 25min, 25min)