From the point of view of a comic book artist, I saw digital painting as a horrendous undertaking from the outset. Being used to drawing a page in about a day's time, something this detailed, and in color nonetheless, was going to be the most grueling job I had ever taken upon myself.
My first digital painting took 38 hours to complete. Yup, 38 hours. 38 long and drawn out hours, paying attention to nothing but pixels and more pixels. Looking at nothing but my computer monitor, dreaming about painting, planning my painting as I go through the laborious human process known as "eating." I only kept track of the time spent working by making a video for it whichwas 38 minutes long, and it was set to record 1 second of video per real-time minute.
But, I saw this as a learning experience. And, it was a huge one. I can say that because I painted the first figure in 11 and a half hours, and the rest were done in gradually decreasing amounts of time. In my defense, there were five figures to be painted, an RPG rocket, and the background. Each being as time consuming as the next. Even though it took me this long, I have to say I'm going to continue to practice at it, because as boring as it seems, I did have fun doing it, and next time, I will have learned techniques I didn't know before.
Next time, though, I'll try not to push family, work, and everything else to the side and become a Photoshop zombie... :)