ja1307: Hi ja1307 thanks so much for your feedback. I like to try out all the different approaches there are to drawing that I read about. Sometimes it just confuses me but sometimes something clicks and I find it works for me. I actually found the hoover was a real struggle but it hasn't put me off trying this approach again.
I stumbled across a great web site called The Paint Basket Art Community, which has heaps of free art lessons on it (full two hour art lessons. They even have live online art classes every week. I've taken quite a few of the classes and it is a nice friendly community aimed at leisure painters looking to get that professional touch for galleries. I've learned quite a bit about oils and water colour and even followed along to build my own shadow box.
I really like to support these types of online art communities, so please excuse my shameless plug for them http://www.paintbasket.com/paintbaskettv/?stream=live Give it a visit and let me know what you think.