In the top sketch I used two new pens that I was not thrilled with: a Pentel Hybrid Technica, which smudges a lot; and the Pentel Color Brush, which does not go on evenly and does not dry quickly. CAVEAT: could just be the paper in the sketchbook I'm currently using! Normally I LOVE Pentel products, so I do think the problem is the combination of paper with these pens.
Anyway, much happier with the second sketch.
(click image for more detail)