Setting the skin material was actually very exciting! Basically, I used SSS (Sub-Surface Scattering) with three to four textures: color, bump and specular textures. I mixed these textures with a gradient ramp, from dark red to light red, which enhanced the flesh effect of the material. I set the gradient ramp Input setting to Result, and Method to Overlay (Fig.03). Most Blender artists use too much of the SSS effect, which can cause the skin material to look more like wax than skin. Another good way to achieve good results is by using nodes, but I personally don't like using them.
I created the eyelashes from a simple plane object containing an alpha texture. When I set the material of the eyelashes I turned off its casting and receiving shadows option, as in this case these settings weren't necessary (Fig.04). This technique is used with Poser characters; I believe it is worthwhile studying Poser characters as you can learn a lot from them to create your own.
Creating eyes for a character model is one of the simplest things. Eyes are simply two modified spheres which contain one material with two properties. For this character I used a simple Z transparent material with a little reflection, and high and hard specularity for the cornea. The iris and the white of the eye were just a color texture and a bump map texture.
Creating clothes for a character is always a huge challenge. Well created, detailed clothing is half of the success of a character portrait!
Most artists use ZBrush to create wrinkles – sometimes I do, too, but in this instance I chose the model them. I'm not saying that my technique is excellent, but it works for me. In some cases I also add a tangent normal map texture to enhance the wrinkled effect on the materials, but not in this project.
My modeling technique for this character piece was as follows (Fig.05):