Well, I have been trying some non-portrait color pencil pieces.
I finished my first one, "Tree Frog":
This image was accepted into a group which has declined pretty much every other drawing I've ever submitted to them due to quality reasons. In my mind, this is a sign I did a pretty good job.
I always feel like I am pretty aware of my skill level, but sometimes an emotional attachment to certain drawings can cloud my judgment, and I always like to know if the general public perceives my drawings the same as I do -- quality-wise. A great way to get this feedback (for me) is to submit my favorite drawings to groups with high quality standards, and see if they are accepted.
I'm now working on my next non-portrait color pencil piece, an octopus:
I'm eager to see this one through, it's definitely more difficult than the tree frog. I don't know if this experience is improving my graphite skills any, but I'm certainly having fun and developing a new love for colored pencils.
I'd like to thank EVERYONE who has so kindly given me feedback on how to improve. I know it's difficult to do, and for those that put themselves out there for me, I appreciate it very much.
Onward and upward.