Truly impressive works, and a solid appreciation for the painstaking effort required to achieve such a level of fine detail. I'm still a little short on getting my skill to the next plateau, but it's closer.
One of the most significant tips I remember coming across years ago (though it sort of ruffled my feathers at the time) was how to keep a drawing from looking "cartoonish." I think it was the term that got me miffed, but in retrospect I have to admit it was accurate.
What I learned was instead of trying to emphasize the edges of objects with a definitive line, develop what's behind the object and let the background define the contours/shape of objects closer to the foreground. This is probably *the* biggest step you can make in advancing from two dimensional to three dimensional rendering (or at least it has been for me).
Again, impressive works and great motivation for me to get back to doing some more pencil/charcoal works. The true flat black of charcoal pencils really contributes great deal of depth without the reflective distraction of pure graphite.
How do you like this piece? Working quite large, I've been trying to loosen up large areas of my drawings, keeping the finer details to the most important part of the subject. I haven't tried water and reflections very often with pencil and in this one I wanted a misty effect (as it's hot water). Heaven In Hell's Valley is a snow monkey or Japanese macaque which are known for spending a lot of time in hot volcanic pools. It's about 22 x 16 inches pencil on Stonehenge paper.