I have this feeling that people who understand make-up would have some useful skills when it comes to colouring faces. I'm not a big fan of make-up (to put it mildly - in general I think it makes people uglier - hey, I have geek sensibilities), but some months ago I subscribed to Michelle Phan's Youtube channel because I saw her showing how to achieve a highly unusual effect of anime eyes on real people. Although I still find makeup generally disturbing (having three sisters, I have a kind of eagle eye in spotting even the slightest bit of anything on a face), there's a certain art in what MPhan can do and so I occasionally watch her videos when I can get over her extremely irritating product placement and when she's describing an effect I'm curious about (generally something not aiming at "general beauty"). Today when working on a face on my tablet, I suddenly noticed that it felt like I was applying layers of makeup to it. Maybe I would get something out of studying the rest of MPhan's videos. It wouldn't be the first time I've found benefit from learning at somebody's feet while not picking up exactly what they were trying to teach me. Lurking on large mailing lists to which I was added by mistake has provided me my best example of that, although maybe this is the general process of learning - it's one thing to take knowledge specifically intended for one purpose and use it for that same purpose, but to be able to synthesise it with wisdom and knowledge from nearby fields where there are no signposts is a deeper mastery.
Image I was playing when when idea came out. I am coming to see the things I would need to do to take realism to higher levels - it'd take more time and effort - the image should start out in a much higher resolution (there are things I do with the eyes in my paper sketches that need that higher res to show up even if it's shrunken later), I should use layers much more extensively and use the border sketch as something I'd use as a guide for colour, which I'd mostly remove from the final image, do hair and perhaps eyes in that separate layer, and maybe reuse some elements betweek sketches. I also really need to find some way to configure the nice buttons on the side of the tablet to do useful things - still haven't figured out how to do that in GIMP (may be windows-GIMP problem). I really hate tableting on windows - so irritating to use all this gui crap to move my files over to a unix box (and nowadays I'm slightly wary of Cygwin). Meh.
On a mostly unrelated note, I am amused to recall that the advice for adopting pets is to look for clear, clever eyes, alertness, curiosity, other things that mark a pet as more intelligent than the rest - these are the same markers we should seek in our own species if we want the most intelligent friends or significant others. Underlying regularities in what is sought: interesting, might also make people uncomfortable to consider.