If the dodge and burn tools are a bit too sensitive and destructive for you then using layer modes instead can give you a bit more control.
A "Multiply" layer will darken your values and I often like the "Screen" layer to boost saturation and light. Or if you prefer doing both light and shadow on one layer then "Soft Light" or "Overlay" can be used.
The process is just like glazing with traditional paints, and this way, if the effect is too strong you can just knock the opacity down without messing up what you've already painted.
Sorry for the confusion I did not know your cat has the great name Gandalf please give him some extra treats and my apologies if there was upset in any way.
Thanks for the advice I tend to use layer modes but never seem to get the extent of expressiveness with them as Micro seemed to get with the dodge and burn tools. I know it cannot just be down to ability and practice. I think it must be the third eye that artist have the one that is inside which some people have the ability to switch on at will and see just what is needed.
I believe that I have a draftsmans ability to produce a reasonable representation of a subject but have never been able to switch on the third eye to use for myself. I have the third eye because when I see great work by other people its there I can see and appreciate what they have achieved.
I love the shading in yours Charlotte, it is like this silky texture, especially the skin, the face almost looks like porcelan, but the linework really brings it out too. The hair looks great to me, the shading is really well done, definitely could leave it just like that and it would still be awesome.
Lighting is looking really great so far Oak, especially around his hands, that's a way better job then I did. I think his face is the focal point apart from the gem, his nose and cheeks would have more of a glow then around his eyes, if you made the white of his eyes darker then you could make his eyes glow with the reflection to bring more attention to him. I don't have the 'third eye' at all, I think it takes centuries for that to happen.
Charlotte I agree with both Microscopi and Valence, your line work is superb and finish on time.
I also agree with micro about my effort so far I am happy with the hands but the face and hair are giving me problems . here is an update