Pretty good, UT!
I like your color palette. You’ve probably already discovered the Kuler palettes… but if you haven’t, it’s a great way to quickly establish a thematic color palette. I’ve used them a lot as a starting point.
I’d encourage you to reduce the intensity of the backdrops just a bit. It will help the characters pop more.
Also, perhaps be more judicious on your use of strokes. Contour lines don’t exist in nature, so when they show up in illustration, it’s a pretty clear indication that it’s a cartoon. Your illustrations are somewhere between cartoon and illustration. You can take them into the cartoon realm by using strokes around all kinds of shapes. (I usually do this by grouping some shapes, like a mass of hair, and duplicating them in place, then unifying the whole thing and giving it an OUTSIDE stroke.)
You might consider giving the entire character an outer stroke. I think you’ll be surprised at how easily this makes it snap together.
Your shadow on the woman, above, isn’t set to multiply. (I’d fix that.)
For your figures, perhaps a bit more gesture. They seem like they’re in the middle of an action rather than at the finale. Eye contact is always more engaging than having them look off-screen, unless what they’re looking at something in the frame… then the viewer will be drawn to that object. Felt that the arms in the second character should be resolved differently. I prefer the arms and hands in the third character MUCH more.
I’d be careful with the scatter brushes. I think you’re using is well in the third character’s backdrop, but the first two seem a bit too much… too loud.
Careful with the gradients. A little goes a long way. This COULD be a matter of personal preference. I tend to prefer harder shapes for “snappy” shadows. Gradients can add depth, but when they’re ALSO used for color variety, it can quickly get out of hand. For example, the gradient on your third character’s face shape, legs, neck, and back arm are good. On the skirt and hair, however, it sort of gets a bit too much. (Plus, you seem to be breaking your own gradient “rules” in some places, like on the ribbon and under-skirt material.)