I'd say don't try to make it photo realistic. It's a perfect blend as it is. This is the style I like best, when it is realistic, but it still looks like a painting. Your shading is superb, especially the highlight on the right side of your picture. Actually, take a look at her left nostril.. doesn't it look a little bit off? That is the only nitpick I can find.
Did you use a grid?
Wow, I would have expected a lot longer to see a piece like this take shape. I love the detail, particularly how you've captured her eyes in such a fashion that they follow you around the room - a difficult achievement, even for a photographer, but you've been able to duplicate it yourself.
I would say that the mouth looks slightly off-line, as if you've moved it all to the left of the picture just a little. You've captured her features well and the whole impression that the image gives is rather pleasing all told.
Perhaps if you did something like this again, I'd go for more of a "bust" image, where you see perhaps down to her shoulder-tops or even a whole torso-shot. Yes, the face has been well worked, but surely, you're capable of more, what with how you've played the lighting and other such areas into the piece. Maybe it's just me, but a better background might also be more desirable.
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Haha yeah 9 hours it took :) I started it around 4pm and finished up around 1 in the morning (I had a pizza break in between XD).
But yeah see I was going to find a 'bust' image but at the moment Im just trying to get my actual portrait skills up... Just want to get to that photo realism stage lol. Im not there yet so I shall work it more. As for the background, I just wanted something simple considering it was mainly a portrait study. I will get there eventually ;)
The eyes and the earrings are perfect. That was a really good shot at the hair, and it only really looks weird at the hair-line itself. Her skin looks rather porcelain, but the realism in those eyes (her eyes!!) makes it seems like someone wearing too much make-up. This could, of course, be a matter only of color choice: I'm no expert. But I do like this a lot!
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