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So here's the deal...
I've been drawing for as long as I can remember, but I only recently picked up acrylic painting, and shortly after a wacom and Photoshop CS.
This is my first attempt at digital painting. I did some snooping around and found this tutorial on the net: http://div.dyndns.org/EK/tutorial/eye/ and figured it was a good place to start. I posted some steps along the way so you can check out my progress (Note: The steps I posted loosley reflect the steps in the tutorial, but some of them don't match up perfect)
Generally, I'm happy with the way this came out... except for the skin. It looks too plastic. I tried to get that smooth look that's in the tutorial using a soft round brush, but I kept botching it up. Any pointers in this area? Or any feedback in general?
(PS. Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this kind of stuff. I read the "read first" post and thought this was a bit of a grey area. Let me know if this is the wrong place and I'll re-post)
When compared to the tutorial's finished piece, your work lacks darker shadows, which may be the reason why your work seems "plastic" to you. Try adding them, and see how it works:
I think the limitations are with your source. For what you are working with, this looks pretty nice. My recommendation is to get a mirror and sit it close enough so that you can do your own eye. That will help you with the various colors that are in real skin, but rarely prtrayed (not to mention the textures will be much more obvious).
I would have to say that you might want to try experimenting with colors, like add some blues or purples to the skin....yellow or so to make it look sickly. But like the other person said, it'll be best to look yourself in the mirror or at a friend.