You can either use a heavier gauge wire, or reinforce the armature by doubling up on the wire by twisting. You can also try filling in cavities like the chest, legs, etc with aluminum foil then build up your clay volumes on top of that (this works best for large sculpts) You can also consider adding a supporting mount to hold your figure upright. I have attached examples of the three suggestions.
I only saw the sample chapter that was released to announce this lesson, but it totally inspired me to try the color picker wiggle trick on this portrait study I just happened to be working on at the time. I really like the results I got.
For being sort of new to digital painting, these look very promising, Christopher! I think you are already advanced in rendering the human form as well as establishing a harmonious color scheme. The area you could still work on a bit is your brush work, or the consistency of your brush work within one piece. You are using different brushes with vastly different texture and softness to them (clothes vs. skin vs. hair/beard). To avoid this disconnect between different materials within a painting, I would suggest you only use one, simple brush within one painting and only vary the flow/hardness/opacity/pressure sensitivity of this one brush to render different materials. Good luck and cheers! :)
So all my previous experience with painting has been with oils. While I enjoy working in the medium, I find that I do not enjoy the cleanup, at all. Digital has been a surprising delight to work in, especially with my ipad. I feel like I have my whole art studio in my hands when I sit down to work. Anyways, here are some examples of some of the digital drawings and paintings that I have done while I have been working things out. Please let me know what you guys think.