Not exactly the under layer, but this was an early stage, around the 45 minute mark:
|I was nervous about adding in the foreground bushes/ trees, intimidating.|
|Green and pretty. But the castle feels sort of odd next to them. Also it's boring.|
Gradients and lighting is added, but it's really desaturating things:
|Like a sea of grey mediocrity.|
I've been into Assassin's Creed lately, so I added a little Ezio. Not sure the environment really suits him, it's too serene:
I also boosted the saturation on the midground trees to try and combat the washed out look. I'm not sure I was entirely successful. Issues I ran into were that it was hard to get the castle and the background looking like they were in the same place. I think this was an issue with lighting, maybe contrast as well. I know they go together, since it was from a photo, so the failure was in the execution. In the end, lowering the contrast on the background was the only thing I could think of to do that brought them together, but it really washed things out.
If I'm proud of anything, it's the execution of the foreground trees. I feel like they actually came out looking painterly. Considering I have next to no formal painting training that makes me happy.
Adding the figure was for fun, I only spent about 15 minutes on him... but he's just another element in the piece that sort of adds discordance. Part of me thinks it looks fine, part of me thinks it's way too busy and part of me thinks I'm being overly critical. Ha.