If you have never seen the art work of Bert Monroy then you need to check out his website and especially his digital painting Damen. I had the pleasure to attend one of his classes prior to the unveiling of Damen and was just awed by the complexity in its creation.
Keep in mind that this is not photography, this is digital painting. The painting took him over 2000 hours to create, is 40 x 120 inches (3.33 ft x 10 ft) in size, spread across almost 50 Photoshop files, had 15,000 layers, and weighed in at 1.7 GB after it was flattened. Talk about having some file management skills.
Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy - Digital Painting was written to inspire others to look at Photoshop in a different way, to approach the tools from ways that are different than are outlined in the manual - in the ways that are different than most people use Photoshop.
Keep in mind that Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy - Digital Painting is not for beginners. Monroy deals with rather complex issues such as Calculations and Layers Styles. These are pretty creative techniques and you have to be fairly confident in your skills. That is not to say you have to be an expert to use these techniques, but rather you have to know your layers from your channels and your paths from your pixels.
Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy - Digital Painting is both a book about the artist and how he came to create the work that he has produced, as well as a technique book about using Photoshop to create digital art. The main book is 312 pages and contains 10 chapters. There are also five bonus chapters via PDF that you can get online when you register your book as well as the sample images that you can work with from Chapter 10 tutorials.
Chapter 1, "The Workflow," discusses the thought process that goes through creating a digital painting. In this chapter, Monroy explains his workflow from getting his reference material to the planning of composition. Chapter 2, "Lights and Shadows" gets into some of the concepts of lights and shadows that are used as components to give an image its character.
Chapters 3 through 9 each focus on a specific painting. They are presented in the order in which they were created. In these chapters, he goes in to the how and why of what he does. Throughout the book you are given insight into the growth of the artist beginning with the work "Oakland", in which he began using a new Mac G4 Tower that gave him more power to build better images because he could now create bigger files.