With the help of both Re!ke and Datameister combined with the vast archives of info on these forums, I think I'm well on my way to figuring this stuff out on my own. However, instead of fading off into the sunset, I thought I should instead share with everyone what I have found.
So, without further ado...
Must Read Threads
Datameister's Article - This gives a nice, general overview of everything you need to know so you know what the hell is going on when Photoshop finishes loading. At least, that's what it was for me.
Digital Painting in PS - There's a reason why this is the most referenced thread here. Check it out. Learn from it. I know I need to.
!!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast ! - The amount of stuff to be learned from this thread is just mind boggling. It also gives additional links for understanding the more theoretical aspect to painting.
The Peer Project V2 - A continuation of the Peer Project.
killing.lesson (photoshop) - Killing.People gives an in-depth look to his painting techniques. Very informative.
Good General Info
Handy tips and tricks for PS - All the shortcuts that you need to learn.
question about overlay layer vs color layer - Sketchling gives a technical description of the Darken/Lighten, Multiply/Screen, Color, Luminosity, and Overlay layers. Now I know what the hell they actually do instead of just selecting them randomly to see if I get a cool effect.
A Couple Informative Posts by Bumskee
Some Brush Stuff and a Nice Looking Pepper
More Brush Stuff
Advanced Techniques I probably shouldn't even look at
Quick Texturing Anything - Pretty cool technique for applying a texture to a surface. I think I saw something similar to this at Polykarbon some years ago. Should be used sparingly.
The Light Side of the Smudge - What do you know? The Smudge Tool isn't a tool of the Devil!
PAINTING WITH THE FINGERS - Or maybe those who use the Smudge Tool sell themselves to the Devil to make stuff look this good!
From here on is my original post...
Okay, most of my Photoshop knowledge is a combination of self-taught knowledge and crappy dodge/burn tutorials from five to six years ago on Adobe Photoshop 5.5 (god that's old, CS3 is technically Photoshop 10 or something, isn't it?).
Well, I've got Photoshop CS now, but my skills are incomplete and outdated at best. I've included two quick studies I've done to illustrate the level I'm at. Granted, I'm stuck with a mouse, but these are simple enough to work with a mouse on. Also my painting skills can use plenty of work, but I'd like to learn Photoshop better so I can work on those (I can't work with oils at the moment and I have no clue where my friggin' pastels went off to...).
I've tried messing with brushes, but I'm not quite getting the hang of them yet. And I clearly rely on the smudge tool far too much. Also I've tried googling for "Adobe Photoshop CS Tutorials" and various modifications of that phrase, but there's something like fifty gabjillion tutorials, which is rather overwhelming for me. Furthermore many of these have to do with photomanipulation, which I may learn from but it's not quite what I'm looking for (besides, I know so little I'm usually scratching my head within a couple minutes).
All I really know at this point is how to use layers (in probably the most offensively rudimentary manner possible) and a few of the brush options (wet edges, opacity, spacing, et cetera). Oh, and the all-mighty lens flare of course!
Basically, I'm asking for whatever you've got. Pointers, tips, detailed explainations, a link to the uber-FAQ that explains it all (and probably a few flames for not searching hard enough, it's okay, go ahead, I can take it ), links to several FAQs because there isn't an uber-FAQ, et cetera.