DIGITAL PAINTING EXAMPLE by Adele Lorienne (unfortunately the original was taken down so a link to the source can’t be provided)
Here we have detail shots from my painting "Aveyond II". It should be fairly easy to see how everything was painted now, it’s all just layering of colors and highlights/shadows with finer details on top.
Distant foliage is easy to paint, closer foliage is a little more tedious, but still the same idea—variations of long, short, blotchy and blurry patches of color. Sharper highlights are always added on separate layers. I like to vary the colors of the leaves by throwing in some browns or blues to make it look more busy and interesting. I use the smudge tool to drag the leaftips into points and soften the edges. For very thin branches I’ll use the pen tool for sharpness. Grass is the same method, only more solid colors and individual grass blades rather than blotches. Painting a forest can sometimes end up with over 50 layers, depending on the amount of detail and lighting I’m trying to achieve.