Upon receiving some constructive criticism from an artist whom I respect and with a great deal more experience than me I decided to revisit this piece. He suggested i blend the dark areas and then lay down more tone on top of them so that I could get a greater ranger of values. While doing that I decided to hone in some of the details and try to sharpen up the image.
I suffer from a common issue with new artists, being hasty. The urge to finish a piece overtakes the desire to fully finish it. Lesson learned, hopefully ;) Let me know what you think, can you tell a difference from the previous post?