Great little figures (and coffin), and totally love it when creations actually mean something to a person they're given to! They are quite good too especially for being your first
. Wouldn't worry about the getting-better part--you're already well on your way.
As for c & c, I personally like to see the characteristics of polymer clay taken advantage of, so prefer the color actually be in the clay rather than painted on as one would have to do for most air-dry clays since they come only in one color...but that's just me.
(If you do want to see how to mix polymer clay colors together to create brand new colors or to create even whole palettes of color from just a basic few colors, or how to add other colorants to clay, check out at least this page at my site:http://glassattic.com/polymer/color.htm
And polymer clayers also like to add metallic effects on the clay with various metallic powders, leafing, and waxes, as well as mixing in or using other things to make the clay look like lots of other things too (like metal, wood, stone, turquoise/jade/pearl/ivory/other gems, etc**).
Btw, hopefully the metallic-colored paint you used on the helmet, etc., was not one that's petroleum-solvent based --must be cleaned up with paint thinner/etc-- since that will eventually eat into polymer clay (unlike air-dry clays). Acrylics are fine and I'm assuming that's what you used though (some others are okay too).
If you want
the clay to be smooth, that usually just means starting
with pieces of clay that you make into smooth balls, logs, or sheets, and also using clays that aren't too soft or just fixing the fingerprints/gouges/distortions after they occur. There's lots of info on that if you're interested on this page too:http://glassattic.com/polymer/sculpture.htm
> Fingerprints, Smoothing
and there's more on permanent armatures here, as well as in the Websites section of the previous page:http://glassattic.com/polymer/armatures-perm.htm
I used these links here to help me out some . . . but honestly I just googled until i found something useful.
You and gurchroot
too, may want to check out other pages at my site too, which is a polymer clay "encyclopedia" of techniques, lessons, examples, troubleshooting, etc. It's easiest to do that from the Table of Contents
...scroll all the way down the page... then to go to any of the pages you're interested in, use its name from the alphabetical navigation bar on the left
** for some of those things, look on the pages called:
... Fauxs--Many, Faux Turquoise & Wood, Faux Ivory, and Inclusions
... Powders, Leaf & Foils, Paints (metallics)