I used the description below to do this portrait. I would really love crits about my concept choices; what could I have done to end up with a stronger character or illustrate the description better? Crits on the technique would also be greatly appreciated.
Rune is of undetermined descent, having several races (mostly human) in his/her background. Rune is a latent magical talent, though s/he has some fear of his/her own magic. S/he has received a little magical training, but his/her instructor died mysteriously. Rune is now a traveler and a wanderer who earns his/her bread by performing odd jobs. Rune would like to be accepted into a school of magic, but s/he does not believe s/he is quite ready yet. Rune has a little weapons training and wields a staff, though s/he has never killed anyone in combat and abhors the idea of taking a life.
Rune has an affinity for wild animals, particuarly hawks. Animals are not startled by his/her presence and the more intelligent ones can engage in a sort of communication. Rune is very polite to people - s/he has a quick smile, laughs easily, and is always willing to help. People recognize the mark of a magic-user tattoed on his/her forehead and they will often approach him/her for healing and aid in return for food or money.
Rune is 19, tall and with a wiry frame. S/he has an exotic quality to his/her face from the many races in his/her background. S/he has long dark hair and is fond of blue. Rune travels on foot with a pack on his/her back, a few pouches tied to his/her belt on the side along with a collection of magical charms, pretty feathers and stones s/he has found along the way. Rune carries an eating knife at his/her side, though it is not used for defense. Metallic items are kept to a minimum because they impair magic. Rune's clothing is typically functional leather with little trimming.