Here's a 2nd step and how the final image of my Chun Li turned out.
Step2- I didn't want to settle on the composition JUST yet.. so I played with a square frame. Added some cherry blossom branches in the BG to suggest Spring... like in the "CHUN" in Chun li.
Final- I reverted to the Original composition but with different cropping. Added more details and tried to make most of my line work vanish - not completely, but a good balance. Overall time spent about 5 hours over the span of 2-3 days.
This is my rare attempts at painter... was kinda inspired by some stuff at cgtalk
and some artist blogs I frequent and really envy the painterly quality their work possess, so thought I'd take a stab at it again. I never really got into Painter in the first place because I'm very into the hotkeys and being that I use photoshop all the time, I was in a comfort zone I guess, so I gave up on Painter. But with Painter 9 & 10, for me, the layout is much similar to Photoshop so there is a sense of familiarity. I'll definitely use more of it in the future and hope to get more efficient at it.