Underdrawing Tests

I decided to get the oil paints out at home this weekend and try mixing the painting I've been learning in class with some drawing. I took two scraps of bristol paper about 5x7 and made some quick portrait sketches, one of a robot and one from an old 18th century portrait. I kept the sketches very loose, no shading or tone. To keep the pencil from contaminating the paint or getting rubbed out I painted over each with a coat of clear acrylic gesso. Then I started in with the paint, robot first:

The most frustrating thing is that the pencil lines get covered over very quickly. I started by blocking in large sections of the robot with base colors, but when I did I covered all the internal details I had drawn. You can tell that the robots head is not quite 3D, the hat doesn't look like it should fit, and his mouthpiece doesn't look quite right, all a result of trying to make them up later in paint.

Despite the trouble I do like some of the colors in this one, especially the background.

Second try:

This time, rather than blocking things in, I decided to mix a range of values on my palette beforehand and then "redraw" the drawing in paint. This was only slightly more successful. All those different values quickly turn to mud as I tried to adjust the painted drawing, so all the details came out fuzzy and indistinct.

Some of this I think could be addressed by letting the painting dry for a few days and then coming back to adjust details.