Chainmail, the bane of my life!
As I said, I hate doing chainmail. Even if it’s possible to do it by hand, you can save yourself lots of time in production by using a photo for suggesting materials such as leaves, grass or sand that have to get painted quickly. But even when using photo textures, I prefer to make a custom brush that does the work, so that it still feels more like painting. For example, you could make a little circle, set your brush to Directional and play with the space inside the brush media window to develop a chainmail effect. Here I use a chainmail photo, put it on a layer above the rest, set it to 70 per cent Opacity and put it in perspective using the Warp Tool.