So here it is. That image I probably raised people's expectations too much over.
I was very impressed with myself about this one, because for the first time in a long time I felt like I was in control of the brush. I didn't struggle to paint or blend or anything. Things just worked, and I think this is better than all my other stuff in regards to execution, realism, and technicality. That stuff really matters to me because when I can do something well, it doesn't feel like I'm just some twit smearing digital paint around and seeing what results they get. I actually feel like I know what I'm doing.
This is all yours, Arixus! YOU MY BFF AND UR CHARACTER IS SO PRETTY! I hope this process was as much fun for you as it was me.