@in2eternity - thanks for the feedback! I had only been doing stylised shadows for the most part as I seemed to have completely forgot how to render with pencils, so I've been trying more for subtle gradation and paying more attention to the shadows in studies.
@fionkell - that's my excuse if they're terrible -- I wasn't properly awake yet!
Now: massive update. I've been drawing tons, but the internet here is terrible so I hadn't been uploading as much.
A selection of studies (i've got a ton more gestures, but I feel like that's all I've been posting so I'll spare you this time XD):
I've been doing commissions on Tumblr, mostly fanart and OCs for people. You can't really tell since these are all cropped/WIPs, but I've been paying more attention to the overall composition, and trying to use predetermined or more limited colour palettes:
This was supposed to be just a doodle, so I didn't start with a very good drawing, and then there were some accidental layer mergers, and. Well. It's not great, but I like how the shoulders turned out. I'm not used to really doing armour or anything, so I was playing around.
And some more studies:
I'm trying to work more on expressions, and mouths, and... well, everything!