An image is really just a solution. You know you want to do something, and you know you can do a number of things that could be satisfying. By doing studies you are creating sketches with pencil, ink, watercolour, paint, charcoal, pastel-- whatever, you're feeling out your options by doing them. You might not make them polished and finished works, but they'll serve as a stairway to when you've identified what you truly want from a finished piece.
@Sherlock: I'd be willing to give critiques, but not until we set a standard. While we have a broad range of image-makers in our community, some very exposed to the histories and theories and others less, I don't necessarily think responding specifically to the technical is really complete. You're great at that though. Maybe we can set the expectation that when pieces are posted, people list what sort of feedback they're aiming for. Some people may really want responses on the content. Maybe a balanced critique of that and technical, or they may want to know very specifically what the composition is saying. I think having a really broad sheet for people to fill out (or not fill out) could help make this community more effective at serving our population.