I also changed the dress to give a variance in colour. At first I had my heart set on a white dress but the beautiful plum colour really caught my attention against the natural colour palette and I was unable to part with it!
To me, the face and expression are extremely important to the overall look and impression of an image, and so I devote a lot of extra time and care to creating and detailing faces. For this image, I chose to give the character beautiful wide eyes, each a different colour - one a sky blue, the other a mossy green. I felt this would add to the uniqueness of her character and perhaps symbolize how their are two sides to her personality. For the expression, I attempted to give her a look of guilt, mixed with callousness and fear. I painted in the face detail with a custom textured round brush set to low opacity (around 10% or less)(Fig.03).
For help with the dress, I took two regular sleeping pillows and stuffed them into one of my old skirts, giving the skirt shape and the illusion of legs folded underneath. I set up an area in my workspace on the floor and used the skirt dummy as study reference for the dress form and folds. I shaded the skirt in hues ranging from light desaturated pink to a lavender-gray, lightly mixing in colours from the background in different areas to bring things together (Fig.04).
I'm very fond of creating different custom brushes, both for beautiful texture and to speed up workflow. For the lace, I created a custom brush resembling a swirly lace-like pattern and use it as a stamp around the edges of the dress, rotating it to conform to the angle of the dress hem (Fig.03).
Now that the image was nearing completion, I took the opportunity to add in more details. Using a small round brush, I painted in details of a tattoo on her right forearm and the various types of jewellery. For the beads, I set a regular hard round brush's spacing to 100% to create a bead-like line brush. I dragged it across her left hand and forearm dropping low occasionally to create a loose draping effect (Fig.05).