Yeah, after loads of procrastinating, I managed to finish a desktop wallpaper for my sister.
I decided to try a colouring technique which involved layer masking, lots of blurring and smudging. And I tried to make the outline as unseen as possible...And I tried to make the back ground look a bit watery because the two characters are represented by a well.
Unfortunately, I still can't seem to grasp the concept of light and shadows.
Anyway, feedback please?
Characters are from Märchen :Sound Horizon. It's a fantasy music band.
i just think you probably blurred and smudged too much, for starters. there are parts where the edges between elements look great and distinct and others what are blurry and hard to read.
when shading and highlighting, it helps to go with a common color scheme. paint the background first, decide what colors are mostly used and/or what color the light is. lights can be many many colors (common light bulbs are yellow, sunsets can be red, purple, orange, etc) don't be afraid to step beyond shading with black and highlighting with white. that'll keep you where you are now where the figures seem in a completely different space than the background. best thing to do is experiment. loosely draw something (doesn't have to be perfect since it's only for practicing shading) and select the main color(s) of what you drew. then go in and pick a shade color. do not select a pure of any color. go more dark and a bit muddy. if you're afraid it'll look too different than the element color, put the brush opacity to 30-40% and then paint. some of the element color will show through and it'll blend nicely. do highlights much the same way, only with a much lighter color, closer to white and a similar color to your shade. you can experiment with different colors, shades, lights and see what works for you. most pictures have more than one shade color for casting shades or reflections off objects. same with lights.
get a few painting books if you haven't already. even traditional or realistic painting books will show you how to shade and highlight and can transfer to an anime style.