very cool! I think your painting style here is much better than your original image. I notice that this version is a little more cartoony, i usually like cartoony stuff but I think i liked the more realistic proportion for the elegant, beautiful subject matter. In any case it looks awesome in the avatar, looks very playful and fun. great work your definitely improving.
thank you for your careful observation and your kind words! I'm so glad that the improvements can be seen as I did receive comments saying I wasn't improving much and that was a bit sad This one was actually rushed in the end a bit but next time I know where else to improve
thanks so much Stu! you always give kind comments! have you ever used the photoshop mixer brush? (its a feature after CS5) a lot of the watercolor bits was created using that I didn't know it until recently!