My advice for anybody at this stage would be to experiment. Be bold and try different colors within the range you want. Push it as far as possible and play with the layer blending modes. Sometimes I don't know exactly how an effect will work until I try it, so I really go for it, messing around with as much as I can get away with without destroying the atmosphere.
This next section is very hard to put into words. Basically you have to look at the rhythms and flows of a picture and see how you can add to that flow with brush marks that will add interest. It all comes from somewhere deep within your heart. If you put love and soul into everything you do, it can only help you. That's all I can say for thus detail pass. Just love it, enjoy it and go for it. Don't be tentative or scared of making your mark or it will make the image dull and uninteresting. In these final steps I adjusted the temperature of the colors by using an adjustment layer and looked for lost and found edges. I blurred some edges and tightened others depending on the area I wanted the viewer to focus on (Fig.08 & Fig.09).
And here's the final image (Fig.10)!
I really enjoyed making this piece. I enjoy creating art in general but sometimes some pieces fall into place better than others, which is what happened with this one.
I would like to conclude by thinking about the feelings and thoughts of art, instead of the process. The processes for creating art can be learnt relatively simply. What I try to do is learn from what I see and continue to look in museums and at history, absorbing the information needed to create something compelling. To do it with passion you need to have a good feeling about what you are doing. If it feels bad or you aren't into it, don't pursue it as nothing good will come of it. Art is a direct result of your life experience, things you are thinking about and things you observe. In creating this piece I was thinking about a bygone time of wonders and possibilities. The art game is a long road to walk but I feel it's a worthwhile one. I hope to continue to learn and improve, and I hope this Making Of has given some insight into my working methods and thoughts. I hope it helps someone!