I am working in Adobe Photoshop CS5 for the digital final for this painting. (You don't always need the latest and greatest in software, but CS5 is amazingly stable by comparison to CS4 or CS3, both of which would crash regularly based on alignment of certain stars and lunar cycles. And on Tuesdays. And really just any time that they felt like crashing.)
Up until the halfway point I work in only multiply layers. I am using these layers very much like thin transparent watercolor or acrylic washes.
Digital Work In Progress: Midway Point
After the midway point I will switch into other layer modes, like screen and color dodge for highlighting. And some normal layers for opaque details.
You will notice that I added a few elements to the image at this stage, like the extra foreground foliage. These were decisions made after letting the painting sit for a few days and then coming back to it with a fresh pair of eyes. It can be a risky business to always be going back and correcting an image. Sometimes it is better to just leave your first ideas alone and move on to work on new projects. (You hear me Lucas?) I will only do it if I feel I absolutely have to. In this case, I had lost some of the forest-ness of the scene, and wanted to recapture a bit of it.
Thank you everyone for all the support and really helpful feedback! You guys are awesome.