No image. Can you try again?
Without actually seeing it, this might be miles off, but you could try using some blur, and then harden it up again with a levels or curve layer.
your method seems to work, I knew I had to do something with gaussian blur and levels but I wasn't reading it right.
Something else you could try would be to select the background with the magic wand tool (set about its default 32), invert the selection, and use Refine Edge to smooth the selection. I just gave it a go and it works, but it's tricky to get the settings right. From what I have seen of people who can produce decent art work with a tablet, they build it up with a one pixel brush, perhaps starting with low opacity strokes, but it is mostly down to tallent. I remarked about the beautifully smooth curves in some art work a poster used as an example here not so long ago, and which he said was all free hand. I sure would love to be able to do that.
Here you go. I remebered using the word 'pirate' which made it easy to Google.