First of all, great effort. Way to push it. Bravo. And thank you for posting.
it helps us immensely that you have posted your intention as well as your art.
Sure lets see what we can do.
First off just a note. You have a bit of skewed vertical proportions here. Lets flip it and see if you can see what I see.
All I did here was transform the image vertically until I liked it. Now one could argue that this was design choice but I will get back to that in a moment and show you how it relates to your design decisions.
Secondly I like to compare what the written prompt communicates to me, the art director, versus what the image communicates. and what shape language tools you have at your disposal.
You say that ,
But what I see with the items, character, body language and proportions is elegant and royal. The poise of a dancer is very prominent especially with that toe. The costume is ornate, there's a large gold fork, which is most relatable to me as a scepter or her weapon. Her hand gesture looks like it says, "Here is my hand to kiss the royal ring..." . With all that said, I see this character as a princess in candy land and not a cute and whimsical whipped cream and strawberry clown.
The argument could be made that this clown has a french mime influence, or is a clown with Victorian era dress, and therefore negates all those previous notions. But I must remind you to consider your audience of the modern era and their 6 second attention span. You have exactly 6 seconds to tell me that she is whimsical and cute.
Did you know that Steve - O from Jack Ass went to clown school? The art of the clown has a long and rich history, and involves exaggerated acting and sometimes a professional dancers skill in acrobatics, juggling and yoga like techniques.
The show 'Baskets' on A&E has a fantastic portrayal by Zach Galifinakis. 'Chip' is a character who desires to be a classical sad french clown so bad it blinds him to the fact that he's a brilliant clown in real life without any effort. His name, "Chip Basket" is literally what people used to collect cow dung with in the old west. And if it was intentional, wow, even his real name is a great clown name compared to his made up french clown fantasy.
These are just facts that I know about clowns as an adult viewing regular media, and listening to podcasts. I'm your modern average audience with that 6 second attention span. Now imagine how your character looks to someone who has trained as a clown, or is related to someone who is a clown for a living. How about to someone who asked you for a cute and whimsical clown in an art prompt? Did they get that from you?
Anyhow that's enough of the subjective critique and we shall move onto the objective critique and how you could push it further, as you requested.
Lets internalize now the overall shape language communicated from your piece. And perhaps see some design adjustments in order to enforce your prompt.
In the mere moments that you have to digest a character you are pejoratively informed by their shape language.
Every inch of your draft must be constructed and contribute to your goal. Which is a specific portrayal you have already planned. Once you have my attention, then its up to the details to relate to the story of the character.
So I drew a basic mannequin armature over your character:
It helps to find the figure in space just doing simple shapes. I stopped here because It seems maybe pose was a little forced. The arms, hands and forearms felt a little flat in perspective and the muscle grouping felt a little lost. It really helps to know that stuff because even in characters which are thinner the contour of a drawing can inform the perspective of the human body. For example:
I even tried to put my hands in in the characters right hand position and it might be impossible. Knowing the limits of the human body helps in its representation too.
Moving on to the character costume, honestly I think its the best part. I really enjoy it. But I wanted the strawberry pushed more. Examples in paint over below. A little knee and calve anatomy thrown in too.
The red balls help to the ode of a clown...maybe.
Overall your best post. And good design. Lots of thought and work put in. Keep it up. Once you think its finished. Sleep on it and then spend two more hours on it or untill you think your done again. Rinse and repeat and you will start to learn what finished is for yourself, and what paying jobs ask for.