I'm pleased with this one, too - more subtle colours, but still strong lighting. I tried to loosen up with my lighting this tim and just accept that in art lighting goes where it's needed, not where it would realistically be. I also tried to be more sensible with layers - I have two layer habits, paint-on-only-one-layer or paint-on-a-million-layers. This time round I only used about fifteen, with only about six or seven going at once, so I think I did pretty well.
And the final painting! After a levels pass I flipped the image, and it looked better that way so I stuck with it.
After checking the trianglular formula thingy (technical terminology right there) I figured out why it was stronger flipped. The flipped composition's left-hand triangle has much stronger darks, which lead into the image better, and when moving down the first line the eye takes in the whole cross, whereas with the original composition the eye backtracks to see if there's anything in the corner and is disappointed when there isn't.