Cliché girl in the forest with butterflies bit (I called it that to the commissioner too, so it's not as an insult). I did try to paint it in the same way I might do traditional paints. I think it's lost at this size though.
"Unfinished" in that I just can't seem to figure out how to do the butterflies. I'm toying with some ideas, but either I use a reference and go too photo real or I just slap on some paint like one might throwup on the canvas... I'm not sure which I prefer yet. Hard to find that happy middleground.
tree brushes & photos were used in the painting
referenced redheads for the features & hair
Photoshop's lovely "leaf scatter" brush was used for a lot of the texture
my typical paint texture brushes were also used on the dress/foreground/background
softlight and screen for the light effects
I'm ashamed of the hours that went into this "cliché" painting
I think that about covers it. I'll just update this when it's finished. All in all it's been a good commission in that everything wanted was clearly communicated to me, and in the end if I fail to deliver it's a personal failing, not one born from their being unclear.
any ideas for how to go about the butterflies are not only welcome but appreciated greatly... especially if you've had to encounter a similar problem before.