Good observation arran! Yeah, the head is rather long as compared to GecT's original work. The height of the forehead is based off the distance from the base of the nose to the top of the eyebrows. The problem is with the height of the eyebrows. They shouldn't be that high. Thats one of the features I didn't correct when I did the paint over. I never touched the ears as well. It was just a quick paint over to address some of the anatomy features, nothing more. I wasn't trying to recreate the Mona Lisa or anything like that.
I stated that I only tried to address some of the anatomy issues.
Oh and the lighting, I just copied and pasted the lighter cheek over the darker cheek and blended together. So your your argument makes perfect sense.
However, I disagree with your opinion on the loss of freshness and expansiveness of the brush strokes-losing a lot of the softness and immediacy in the original and removing the sense of intimacy. I think I looks just as good as GecT's work, but thats just my own opinion.
End the end, a photo reference would have helped greatly.
I think GecT is a fantastic artist, and I have loads of respect for her. She only needs to keep it up!!