I had to merge your thread with this one because to have your own thread, you require 4 examples of pixel art. This place is if you just want to show a single image you've been working on or have worked on that you're looking for critique.
Furthermore, your sprite is fantastic for a first attempt. As you've said yourself about the outlines, they aren't as round but they are amazingly well done for a first. Also, you don't need pixel art programs to make some great pixel art. I, myself use Photoshop as well for pixel art, so don't worry about those programs. Use what you're comfortable with. :D
There's probably more that can be said about the sprite, but I'll leave that to the community! I hope to see more from you. :)
Don't forget to read the pixel art rules.