Alright, I'm really pleased with the way this is turning out so far, which is the only reason I'm submitting it prematurely. This is the picture that I printed out and showed to my professor which started the whole commission thing.
Great blue heron, done entirely in photoshop, several reference pictures used for the bird, none used for the background (which is CLEARLY unfinished, don't say it looks halfassed.)
Hours: many many many. Probably around 12 by now.