For a top-view 2D mobile game where you have to create and animate humanoids (human, golems) and "objects" like fire, boulders, levers, etc.
Considering the artist has no prior experience with drawing, nor with any related software.
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Using a cartoon art style with thick outlines and minimal colors. I recommend drawing in Flash using a drawing tablet. You might find it easier to draw on paper with pencil, then scan it into a computer to create the final asset in Flash. YouTube has plenty of tutorials for drawing in Flash and tons of games use this simple art style. I recommend using references like Castle Crashers and Kingdom Rush. You can make the style unique by experimenting with different line styles, proportions, gradients, and textures.