Seems my thread got lost in the server migration, so just reposting.
I started with this Manet piece, because I really liked the economy-- the only detail is in the face, framed by the black of her hat and clothes, so it really draws your eye. The balance is interesting, since about half the image is dark and half light, but they are not split up either top/bottom or left/right, but with sort of intersecting triangles of interest. There's also repetition in the curves in the hair and the ribbons on the bottom left and the curve on the upper right side of the hat contrasting with the more blocky top-left and bottom-right stiff, wide ribbons, but they all curve around and block in the eye to keep the focus on the face.
On my own piece, I'm looking at it on a different computer than I worked, and realizing that a lot of my light areas are too light, and I think this might have been a screen calibration thing, so I need to check that for next time. Outside of that, I tried to keep myself confined to the hour time-limit, which was really good for me to do. I often end up nit-picking over details, and I tried to just block things out this time and fill in as needed this time instead. But I skipped a lot of the construction I would usually do and ended up having to adjust a couple things later because they were too short or narrow or wide, so I think I need to work on balancing that and spending more time on proportions/shapes first before trying to lay values down.