I browse the internet often, looking at other artists' work. I learn a lot. One of my favorite colored pencil artists is Ann Kullberg. Her website offers workshops and gallery images. She is a master artist, particularly of portraits. I have several of her books, but the one I look at the most is Colored Pencil Portraits, Step By Step. One idea I learned from this book is to push values.
This is a great example of one of her colored pencil portraits. She left the top portion of the pants stark white against a dark background. The contrast gives it punch! When I look at my own work as well as the work of others, what catches my eye (no matter the subject or medium) is strong value contrast.
I started a painting with this in mind, using back lighting to create strong value contrast. I've left some of the street and sidewalk white. The bushes in the middle will be the darkest value. I'll post this painting again, and hopefully what I'm learning from Ann Kullberg will show. Do you learn from other artists?