And here's the final version.. I wanted to make an image of something like fairy tale or storybook love. I love the style in illustration of pumping up lights and colors to make them glow throughout the entire picture. It seems appropriate for an image of storybook love to have this quality, so I really attempted to convey that timeless feeling with the light in this illustration.
The painting style used is also very influenced by Marta Dahlig, whose work I've always looked up to but never thought I'd be able to reproduce to any degree in a million years. And I still haven't.
However, it turns out that with patience and perseverance, many things you didn't know you could do can be completed, and this has been a good experience. It may be motivation to attempt more realism with digital painting in the months to come.
Thank you to all the wonderful teachers and students of AAU. I had and continue to have such a good experience of the education received there. You are all greatly talented and very kind.