Earlier today I was looking at my friend Stephane Manel's work, including the piece of his that I own and have hanging on my wall. What's interesting is how, without thinking of it hours later, I got a strong image in my mind that, after I started sketching it, I realize was inspired by his Frau Roma piece that I love so much, and by his clean, heavy brushwork. While the eyes of this face are mine, the lips are definitely inspired by Manel. It's funny how that works, subconsciously.
My other thought is how fun it is to draw a face you never saw, and to have it form before your very eyes. I don't like copying faces for my original artwork - if I use a reference, then in my head it's not really my work completely, unless I composed a pose first then sought out similar references to flesh it out later. But when one draws spontaneously, and sees how one line affects the next and the next until something forms that you like, it's soooo satisfying. It feels mine.
Even if I can point out where I was influenced. ;)