I think you really hit something with the light on the environment piece # 1 in your 122nd post. And the drapery piece looks really good!
Also, keep on with the hand practice, looking good! I should do more of that!
A tip that has helped me a bit when it comes to balancing my figures, is that usually, when standing, you can draw a line from the hollow between the clavicles (the hollow between the bones at the bottom of your throat, where it goes down to your torso/chest) and down to the feet. The inside of the foot that the character is putting the most weight on should be on a straight line with this. Of course it doesn't always apply, but when coming to standing characters or humans, that is a pretty neat trick to help them not looking "tilted", especially if they have hips thrust to the side or stuff like that.