Thanks for the comments guys, I think I've come down in favour of doing the second pic, mainly because it requires me to paint recognisable stuff and so I'l probably learn more while doing it. Already working on improving the sky to be more in line with the first pic.
Komugurackingdom (can I call you Kom?) nice start, looking forward to seeing where this is going.
Chantika, don't give up, the object (as I see it) is not to win the challenge but to improve your work in the company of like minded people, If you think your work is bad then it should be easier to improve so you gain more.
Vektor, strong start:) only crit so far is that maybe the 'weight' of the composition is a little balanced. also the sun could be moved to the right a bit. (too central).
Gnuchi, It's a project as well? what are you faffing about at then? get in here:)