One of the things I have most trouble with and need the most improvement on is painting in Photoshop. I generally like the crisp albeit limited painting you can do in Flash, but sometimes I need a little more.
So keeping with the black mage theme, I tried my hand at painting an image in PS. I cheated a little but, by laying down the base color in Flash and then adding texture and tones in PS. I then toyed around with some of the filters, and I think it came out pretty ok. If anything, my biggest gripe is the eyes. I kept them very straight but looking at the finished piece, they seem very unnatural. Ah well, lesson learned! :)