This time I went with an entirely new process, by using the pencil tool, instead of the brush tool. Let me show you what I mean:
If you look closely at the pencil tool, there is a sharp edge with one tone, whereas the brush looks softer because it very slightly fades into the white behind it. This is basically the difference between alias (pencil) and anti-aliased (brush). Drawing the backgrounds without outlines became easier, and it made the bucket tool easier to use. The finished product doesn’t look hugely different, simply because it is re-sized from over 3000 pixels wide to 800.
I kind of like the cartoony background since it fits in with the style, but I do love how the painted backgrounds (like I usually do) contrast and make the subjects really pop. Not sure how I’ll do the next one, I need to weigh the pros and cons.