This advice will appear on a couple of other portfolio reviews on here, but no worries! That's the fun of fundamentals and client work, the dance of getting better at all of them never ever ends
More importantly, about your work!
You definitely have a feeling of story in all of your paintings. That's a very good thing. You have a good sense of scale and values and edges. There's a bit of photo work in there, too, which isn't bad but may raise eyebrows if that's the only detail-heavy thing in your images. Some things I see that you have cleverly hid: perspective and character/anatomy design. I did these too, and you're in good company because learning them is a bit daunting and tedious.
A good way to start with having freelance illustration as profession is to start looking out at the companies that you want to work for. Not just the ones that are currently hiring, but your dream gig and your dream work to do while working with them. Take a look at those artists and that work that's out there and start breaking it down into the fundamentals that you'd need to learn to do that in a reasonable amount of work time.
A company like Applibot has a level of work that is very high end and each card takes (I would guess) about a solid 20-30 hours of work each to produce and send off. And that is including mastery of all of the underlying skillsets (anatomy, lighting, storytelling, design, etc).
My suggestion for you: Continue learning everyday and studying a good 4 hours. I'm talking LEARNING a given topic inside and out. With anatomy, learning the muscles of the anterior deltoid and how they function with the rest of the arm. Paint a plain air painting side-by-side until you get it right (I suggest throwing on a favorite podcast in the background while you're working and learning there).
Color Theory - Go on pinterest and type in John Singer Sargent, Clyde Aspevig, or your favorite master painter. Your lifelong goal should be to paint the stuff YOU love to paint, but to learn from the masters on how to paint YOUR paintings better. Study them everyday and soon you will be know their ins and outs. I have had enormous success studying Clyde Aspevig and Jeremy Lipking and studying for hour periods at a time.
Environment and Industrial Design - www.artbyfeng.com . Just start designing and don't stop. Watch all of his videos and study and paint along with those videos. Also, for the love of god, don't get caught up in thinking that you need to paint something beautiful in a matter of an hour flat. That comes from a lot of practice and knowing exactly what you're doing. While you're learning and still have no idea what you're doing (especially the fun times when you don't know what you don't even know yet).
Another fun one. For learning something like costume design and character reference shots, look up cosplays on pinterest. There are tons, and TONS of photos out there of costumes and designs just waiting to be learned and applied.
It's all about patience. How did the certain artists become "the masters"? One hour at a time. One solid footstep forward that could never be taken from them. One hour at a time, one day at a time, one week and month and year at a time.
One inspirational TED talks to watch. One is about choosing one fundamental at a time to focus on and become competent in:
I'll give you a couple suggestions that should be able to push your art another level up if you put them into practice.
1. Work hard on thumbnails. Make sure it looks great at a small size before starting to detail anything.
2. Work on it longer. You don't have any very detailed pieces, while this is fine for other artists, clients usually want more detailed pieces. It would be great to see 2 or three that you spent 20+ hours on. You have some good skills, just make sure you use the most of them.
Thanks a lot for your hints, i'll keep that in mind
I didn't have spent a lot of hours in these. Acutally it's arround 2-5h per picture - depends on how complicate it'll become.
In future i'll try to spend more time in one piece, as you suggests.
I try to get familiar with composition & focal points - which isn't clear often in my pieces.
Thanks again, i'm happy to hear tips & tricks
Image 23.11.2013 - Fan Art Assassins Creed 4 BF - Concept Habor
Level Up - All Access
Level 6 Gladiator: Provocator
Thanked 227 Times in 149 Posts
With some you photo mash ups it feels like you could maybe do a lighting layer on top and work on bringing the various bits together more by sorting out the lighting? Otherwise I like a lot of the work!