hey law, a note on the 30min study approach you were talking about. i can only comment because i was doing some last week. i found that i was learning the most when: firstly i would do a painting, under a strict time limit. then the next day, i would do another quick one, but then afterwards look back to the previous days painting and work on it to a state where i am happy. i just followed that pattern. what i found useful was that i was able to compare the 30min to the 1hr or 2hr (thru saves) and see what i was doing wrong/right - or what i wanted to do, and how i could get there quicker. everyone knows about the whole work from big to detail, but i find it hard to not detail and just let the painting take shape- i think this process helped me get in that frame of mind of big shapes first.
also i did mine without an undo button and 1 layer (no exceptions)..and it really helps state in my mind that i have to think about the tone/color before slapping it on. i kind of feel that is the only real purpose to a quick study. at first i was doing them to practice tone and color palettes, but i soon realised that i have to think about those things when i paint say a 5-6hr painting anyway, so might as well practice/explore as you paint those.
anyway, those r my 2 cents. keep up the good work man, looking forward to see more work. catcha at lifed sometime.