Cheers everybody, thanks for the great feedback!
Very nice work. I still swear these are filtered images.
Man, I wish there was a filter. Would make this a whole lot easier. The face alone has taken me the longest to get right (shading in particular ). The hair is not quite as accurate.
If you have time you really should make a tutorial on how to paint something like that colors, contur etc...
My technique may not be the best thing to follow if your a beginner. I recommend knowing a little human anatomy for starters. Be experienced with masks and other tools in photoshop because the color is all done with masks, but the most important thing of all is you have to be good at sketching be it on paper or photoshop or your project will quickly die. I do alot of paper sketching then scan it to my PC.
Here is the finished initial face sketch. It's what I start with. All the shading comes later after I'm satisfied with how the anatomy looks. The face sketch took me a about a week because I'm matching the reference as close as possible. My accuracy is usually spot on.