Nice update and great dedication.
Your anatomy is coming along, keep the studies up! I happen to agree with Lakai – getting a little messy while drawing can take away some fear – at least for me.
The values in your paintings are still kinda extreme. If you put a black layer on top of your paintings and set it to "saturation" you will see that you are using a lot of pure whites and pure blacks (value vise). This should be avoided because in nature, you normally don't find them. The portrait you've painted is way better in this regard.
I would suggest doing some B/W studies, to get a better feeling for values.