Jessibelle - Thanks a lot! Hope that patience lasts but so far I've enjoyed the exercises, I think oils teach a great deal about effective brush strokes because you can't fiddle around too much without getting mud.
Iven - No problem and thanks to you!
Justyna - I wondered for a moment what you meant with diver but when I looked through that page it seemed so obvious. I intended it as a mechanical zombie I guess the tubes make it look like a suit and the look of the steam engine head with a hatch supports that too.
Nye - Thanks for the crit! You're right, the placement of the ship is a bit awkward. I don't think I'll continue the picture though, it just doesn't look like the castle and ships are in harmony. I guess the problem is that I designed the composition without the boats and now they look too obviously added on - it's not the best point of view to describe the action.
Sean - Haha, you bet! Maybe these help me learn to live without it. Thanks for the compliments, Sketchup is handy but a 3d base is pretty chaining and sets a high standard for cleanness (painting loosely over a 3d base feels awkward) so I think I'll try to steer out of using it much.
Here's the stuff from two weeks. I guess I should update more often:
IOW entry from last weekend: