There are some differences in style between these two screenshots, Thomas, but can't comment much because I don't know much about the theme.
I like the style though and I wonder how that looks in motion.
Yeah, there's a _big_ difference in style between the two shots. I want Swallows Nest to feel very colorful, impressionistic, whereas most of the other areas are pretty dark and moody. It's still not really working though, yeah.
Anyone remember A Link to the Past? I still remember playing that as a kid and walking around in the forest for the first time ever - it was full of mist at first and then, after you got the Master Sword, the mist lifted, revealing fresh, strong greens. That was so freaking beautiful - I absolutely loved just walking around down there. It was the most abstract impression of nature, but it worked wonderfully just through the strong colors and the music.
And then, later in the game, you saw the forest from the top of the mountains - I loved that stuff. I'd love to get some of those feelings into this game.
I think it always looks better in motion, thanks to the parallax layers and the animation (although there isn't really any animation for stuff like grass, etc., yet, dunno how to loop the freaking paint effects) - I'll try to use tons of layers, each with it's different set of scrolling attributes and overlay effects, so you get that multiplane camera effect.