Here's my attempt in Krita. The one thing I want to work on the most is producing clean and render-like tones. I have spent several hours experimenting with various brush sizes, opacities, and hardnesses in combination with layers and masks and identified that I struggle most with compressed gradients, when it's unclear where a gradient starts and ends, overlapping gradients, and non-linear gradients.
After a quick search, I couldn't find a good resource that goes over technique and workflow. What I'm looking for is a table mapping effects to techniques/workflows and the reverse. I would like to know when and how to use every tool (Hard brushes, soft brushes, textured brushes, masks, blending, gradients, etc.) and some common combinations (masks+soft brushes seem like a pretty common way to achieve gradients while preserving edge). There are tons of ways to achieve effects, but they will all vary in terms of time and quality. I hope to see the course go into these tradeoffs, because sometimes we want or need to take those "shortcuts".
I saw the 21 Dec 2021 feedback for a digital submission. Dorian mentioned that using the gradient tool or large soft brushes would be a faster way of creating a gradient which I agree with. In the spirit of the exercise, is there any merit in using 1-3 different small brushes/erasers to create the gradient? My thought is that using small brushes/erasers would allow me to practice island hunting.