Hi Ulil, I am here with your requested gallery critique. If you have any questions or queries about the critique or anything in general then please feel free to PM me.
I think your strongest piece in your gallery is +this...everything about it screams perfection to me. The composition and text work so well together. I also like these pieces: +one, +two and +three
In terms of your weakest piece I think it is +this...the text looks rather pixelated around the edges and the fonts chosen do not really suit the graphic. So I would consider removing this piece from your gallery as well as these pieces: +one, +two and +three
Wow this critique is going to be hard because all of your graphics are stunning.
In some of your graphics I would suggest being careful which fonts you choose and the colour of them. In +this one the red text is slightly hard to read against the dark. With +this one the colour of the 'be' text does not really fit the reddish tones of the graphic so maybe a dark red with a white shadow may have been more suitable. When i think about choosing the colour of my text I try to choose a colour in the area that it will be placed or if I don't do that I think of this rule: light text on dark areas and dark text on light areas. Both these tips have helped me a lot when creating graphics. Try to think when selecting fonts what mood you are trying to portray in your graphic. Scriptive fonts are more ideal for sad/dark graphics. Sans serif fonts are for happy/bright graphics. This rule may not apply to all graphics but it will certainly help you in the long run.
Regarding your 'clutter' issue I think in some of your graphics it really works especially +this piece. If you do really want to over come cluttering up your graphics then you could try do a minimalistic graphic where you hardly use a lot of stock or textures. I can guarantee that over time the more you practise you will be able to create both minimalistic and full banners. Just remember to find a balance between the two.
When I do the colouring of my graphic the first colouring layer I create is a black and white gradiant map on soft light and lower the opacity to around 10/20% this helps to boost the contrast of your graphics a litte. Every gradient/gradient map I use is always put on soft light and from there I lower the opacity down to the correct level that I like.
I general rule of thumb I have always lived by since I joined TDA is not to have textures covering the faces of people in graphics. For example +here there is a lighting texture crossing her face, same with the bigger girl +here. Slight overlay of certain textures are okay if you are hiding part of the face but if that is not the case then textures should not really be covering the face.
Other than that I think your graphics are amazing. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing more form you.