I've decided to leave the background issue for now and focus on the mid-foreground, and some of the foreground elements, always paying close attention to my original sketch. I want to lead the eye naturally through the image and not have it anchored to some points.
I've also refined some atmosphere elements and added some subtle rays on that mid hill.
Continuing on working at the close waterfall, river and foreground elements; added a low 'grass line' for more compositional depth.
Now I left the foreground and returned to the background, to add more elements. You might think at this moment that my work follows a pretty chaotic pattern, but it's not; usually it's not a good idea to work on a single area, finish it, then start another - it's good to keep the whole image at the same stage as much as possible. So that's why I keep switching between foreground midground and background; I don't want to finish any of them until the right moment comes.
The fun begins
I continued in the same way until I had all my basic land finished; once the land is set it's time to get into details; from here on I will keep refining the picture.
This is a big leap forward from the last step, sorry but I don't have any other intermediary steps. Here the land is finished and I already added details such as those birds.
For the foreground I also used some Vue rendered vegetation:
You might want to ask why I haven't worked a single pixel on the focal element (the ancient building) up until now; But you will find the answer yourself if you read the first steps J This is the power of a strong concept art, set in your mind too. I knew the building will be there, I knew how it will look; I knew how it influenced the land so I've concentrated on the land itself.
However, now it's time to start working on it.
Again, I apologies for no other intermediary steps.
What happened until the final is: I've built in the ancient temple complex, I've refined the atmosphere, corrected individual elements (such as wrong perspectives, colors, blending; for this step I've worked in full resolution which
is around 3600px); At the end, I've added the rainbow to complete the scene and add more realism. As you can see below, I've also shifted the focal point a little bit to the left of the right-top intersection, for more dynamism.
Thanks for having the patience to read this and I hope you found it useful! If you have any kind of questions, don't hesitate to contact me!