I love this one. The colours of the air are wonderful. ^_^ How much of it is photoshop and how much is painter? I've been working with photoshop for many years, but just recently tried out painter and I will soon try making something with it.
And a second question. The dragon, is it a stone dragon on the mountainside, or a white dragon flying behind the buildings? I'm not very familiar with the setting, all I know is what I've read in Oriental Adventures.
I would say the actual marks are 99% Painter. Sometimes its quicker to block out colours with big brushes in Photoshop - I think that's something Craig Mullins does, and its a good quick tip. Most of the actual "painting" is done in Painter though. I like how the brushes work, and I'm more comfortable with the colour picker in Painter.
What I do in Photoshop is mess with the tonal levels, saturation and hues - general image manipulation stuff. I lasso areas and tweak them. I also layer up textures in PS, since it just has better/faster controls for that than Painter.
The dragon is meant to be a design picked out in melted snow.
I see. Like I said, I haven't tried Painter much yet, but my first impression was that I am much more in control when working in photoshop. But that's probably most because I'm very used to Photoshop and not used at all to Painter.
By the way, I saw on your other webpage that you use a mac. Go mac! XD
Yeah I do hear a fair few people express frustration at Painter's interface - but mostly it boils down to being different to PS's. A bit of perseverance, and once you have both learned then its extra skills under your belt, and extra options available.
The main think IMHO to master in Painter is brush creation. Once you understand all those sliders and what they do, you're flying.
Aye, the art director asked me to put that in there just to make it clear it was a Dragon Clan stronghold. L5R is set in a magical world where that kind of mystical thing happens, which makes it a very cool sandbox to play in!