It was now time to finish the forest in the background, as I kept pushing definition on all the layers. I tried to keep the soft aspect of the misty atmosphere by adding just the right amount of details, and I readjusted darkness and saturation again (Fig.15).
Layer after layer, from the background to the foreground, I refined all the texture details and lighting. On the trees, the ground, the leaves, the dress, the woman, etc. The key here was to avoid adding too much detail and still keep a clear overall vision of what the image needed and where. It can be very easy to overwork details and brushstrokes. You have to remember that everything that's in shadow doesn't necessarily need too much detail, just the suggestion of it.
The same goes for the elements that are further away. The further the object, the more you can simplify the textures, still keeping a general sense of volume. More detailing applies to whatever is in full light. For that reason, I pushed the darks and lights in the image further and the saturation one more time (Fig.16).
After the picture was complete, the art director - based on the editor and publisher's request - asked that I add a sword planted in the ground. I then designed a sword and added it next to the sleeping woman (Fig.17 & Fig.18).
Notice how the subtle mix of warm and cool tones in the dress helps to give it a slightly translucent appearance, especially in the shade (Fig.19).
Finally, the image was ready for cover printing (Fig.20).