I've been taking Juliette Crane's How to Paint a Girl ecourse. If you get the chance, I would highly recommend it. Juliette is a fellow Wisconsinite and I absolutely adore your unique talents. She is very good at presenting herself as "the total package". An artist, dreamer, storyteller and more! I thoroughly enjoyed taking her class.
As for the painting. It's so interesting to learn other artist's techniques. I've taken many classes and it really helps me to define my own personal style. So, although I'm not yet comfortable with painting my girls (I prefer sketching them), here is one I'm working on.