You have a nice handle on airbrushing, but I'd suggest you sharpen your edges up, so that they're not so blurry. It'll help to pop your images out and give them better dimension.
As for the shading, don't be afraid to go darker, it will help to show better form. To explain shadows in a nutshell, cast shadows always have a harder edge, and gradually get less sharp the farther ways they are from the object casting the shadow.
The other main type of shadow, is the core. Core shadows always happen whenever you shift planes into perspective, and every object can be broken down into planes.
As you can see in the image below, where ever there's a plane break(for example, where the front cheek plane hits the edge of the side cheek plane), there's almost a darker "line" of shadow.
Thanks, friend. I totally get what you're talking about -- the darker shadows always do make me paranoid. The dark makes sense when you look at the reference, but then when I'm drawing it always looks too dark. Weird how my eyeballs can give me two different messages at once. Curse all this self-teaching nonsense.
And I won't lie and say that I've never used the blur filter to hide mistakes I didn't want to fix. Laziness on my part, fo sho.
Anyhoo, appreciated, most def. I learn at least one or two new things every one I make. I think that's partly why I keep doing it -- if I ever plateaued I'd probably grow bored of it. Till then...moar!
Sho, been a while since I've done anything -- got the urge today.
"What are you up to, brother?"
I would define this as a sandbox WIP -- watched some shading technique tutorials and have been playing with them. I'll probably work on this more later in the week, but if there are any suggestions to be had before I get there, it'd be appreciated. Used for reference
Oh, and for those not nerdy enough, this is an interpretation of Zelda from AoL.
Rest drawn/rendered from scratch. For those not in the know, which isn't very many this is for the Sages of Despair -- a winding down RP group that has been on the ZU for the past few years. Epic roleplay and quality storytelling were our mantras. Sad to let it go, but the fond memories and inspirations will remain.
3hrs, concept art from TR used as ref. I gave up on the hair after like an hour of experimenting with it. Still, it was fun to try some different tech. Though I think what I need to do is start using different brushes and get away from the basics.