Edit 12/07/2012: fixed the link to the 4096 x 1536 version...6 months after I submitted it *facepalm*
After thinking I was going to throw a hissy fit over the internet connection not working today, I finally managed to upload this. And (almost) just in time for WWII! And not in time at all for Kelsey's birthday, which was 3 months ago T_T Happy very belated birthday, Kels, and here's your gift <3 It's also for MT's Wintry Wonderland II; didn't plan to enter it at first but then thought the theme fit - btw, I added the scarf as a required item, I tried adding earmuffs and they sucked.
Ironically, the vector took the most to do. I originally wanted it to be simple, with just a few shades here and there, but then I couldn't stop myself from adding more shades D: Then I had trouble with the background, because I first wanted it to be only trees and clouds, but I couldn't paint them properly (I suck at making clouds when they're "important" to the wall) so I looked for scans. This wasn't easy either because most were too low-quality for the huge resolution and I absolutely did not want to vector again.
In the end I went with this scan, which I stretched to fit the canvas. After some re-painting it looked OK so I left it this way. The most challenging (but fun) part was definitely all the snow. Since I've been ranting in my blog about how much I hate snowless winters (like this one almost was), I was ecstatic when it finally snowed and I got the inspiration to continue this wall c: Then I proceeded to add snow on everything. See, because I've been snow-deprived, I take it out on my walls! It was all done with default PS CS5 brushes which are very fun to mess with. See the comparison to see where I added snow!
So I got all the way to this point when I stopped to think "Hold on. WHY THE *censored* AM I EVEN PAINTING GREEN TREES IN WINTER?" Cue epic facepalm and rapid deletion of the shame. I ultimately got to this point before finally deciding to scrap the whole background and start anew.
Also, I hate the tree on the left. I had to redo it twice and I'm still not happy with it.
Credits & specs
Manga scan ---> for the other rant, see the vector.
Background scan by back07.
Original image vs. snowy image (comparison)
Layers / size: 57 / 142 MB + 162 / 66 MB (vector) = 219 / 208 MB
No textures used, everything is painted!
EDIT: non-dual screen has the Bars of Death on the top and bottom; tried to make them look decent (thanks, Ao!) but your mileage may vary concerning whether I succeeded or not c: