I think the color scheme is great; including the brush and artifact. If you look at the cape as whole I have no issue with it.
The artifact looks a little too detailed to be an icon, you're right about that, but if it stayed the same I would support it. If you had to make it a bit more simple like other skills you could just remove the design on the artifact and that would change it as a whole, in my opinion at least.
Cape looks great though! I was wondering what kind of colors they'd choose for this skill. I was thinking more tan/brown for some reason, but actually, we are in need of more white capes. I like it!
Zyfazixsaid: I think I'd like a design with a broken vase better. Imo that would also be more in line with the style of other skill icons. The skill is not Palaeontology so I'm voting no on the fossil idea.
I think this’d be the best route. The icon should be somewhat intuitive. Looking at the brush and artifact it is so what’s difficult to derive its symbology. Broken pottery/vase seems like a nice fit. Simple and more appealing to look at.