Sculpt the face
Starting from a DynaMeshed sphere in ZBrush, and with my female anatomy board on Pinterest open on the second screen, I did a rough sculpt of what I believed the 3D version of the concept could look like.
I wasn't too concerned about perfect anatomy but, at the same time, I didn't want to go too stylized with it. She has very sharp features so I tried to preserve them by keeping a feminine and gracious look; at the same time I knew the feeling with an SSS shader in V-Ray could be different.
I poly-modeled a single eyelash and used the script SpPaint3d in Maya to instance the mesh on her eyes. Applying a subtle random rotation and scale value you can get some interesting results very quickly.
Sculpting a female can be as fun as it is frustrating sometimes. This time it was fun
I took an old base mesh and stretched it to fit the concept's proportion.
Once I was vaguely happy, I started refining the S-lines of the female anatomy, trying to get rid of stiffness and get a tonic (yet harmonic) fit female body. This process is never as simple as it sounds. Even if her body is mostly covered by the dress, in order to have an effective pose it is always a good idea take the proper time before moving forward.
Lots of anatomy references used here
Model the other meshes and retopologize
I decimated the mesh, imported it into Maya 2014 and used the new modeling tools to retopologize the face. You can use the NEX plug-in in the previous versions of Maya.
For the rest of the body, I used ZRemesher and eventually fixed the parts with weird topology (like the hands).
Once finished with the model, I used Setup Machine to get a rough rig to pose the character. For the pose, I tried to accentuate her sensuality and at the same time give the impression she is confident and perfectly aware of what is going on around her.
A posed model is always much nicer
I exported all the pieces in UV Headus to get the UV done. I was then able to start having fun in ZBrush and sculpt folds and details until I was happy.
I also assigned some basic shaders just to get a better feeling of the direction I was heading. Depending on what resolution you want to work with, you can export Displacement or Normal maps (or none if you are lazy and want a very heavy Maya scene with decimated geometry – I'm not proud of it, okay?)
When things usually start to work