I think today's attempt was better. Even though I didn't want to spend more than an hour, I tried to give a bit better indication of a background/environment. I also tried to choose light/dark local colours for Mr. In Boots that would help him stand out in general and also set him apart from his outfit. I still can't seem to get away from a final overall colour tweak, but didn't use it as much as I sometimes do. I used softer brushes and tried to make the lightest place in the painting his face to draw attention to it.
I was thinking yesterday how strange it is that it's easier for us to quickly communicate visually with line drawings rather than light and shadow shadow paintings, considering lines don't exist when we look at things in real life.