Santa Claus- Thanks for the crits, you jolly old elf. Ah, you've probably heard 'em all. Oh well. Anyway, I'm basically painting on top of all the old layers anyway, so there shouldn't be too much of a problem. I'll add some mist or something between the tree and the robot on the rocks, and make the foreground very sharp and high contrast. I'll add some elements off in the distance for depth, as you suggested.
Bard- Thanks, man! I'm looking forward to the day when people will go "I love your robots and vehicles!" in the same way they do my creatures. Got more work to do. Going to grays before color has its advantages. You can work out a very nice value composition before complicating things with color. My first two thumbnails for the most recent EoWs were done in values before being colorized. When working on my most recent thumb, I had to constantly desaturate it to check out how the values were working together. As for my school, I'm just going for an associates degree at my local community college. I'm undecided as to whether I want to go to a formal art school, with all stress and expense that that entails. I'm definitely going to apply for the CA.org atelier next time there's an opening, though! So, on that note, gotta go draw. (Actually, work on an essay )