After 2 or 3 years I think that I have finally settled on a painting method, which is to paint on a base color layer and then build on top of that. I did two examples of the same painting as follows.
The first one is me painting on top of values and then adding color on top. The second one is me adding color layers on top of a base color layer. I have found that when I paint the second way, my work comes out much much better. When I paint on top of values in Photoshop, the end painting never ever comes out right. So this post is really a reminder to myself in the future when I get the urge to play around. Experimenation is cool, but don't paint on top of values, because it looks like shit.