One of your goals as a designer of characters is to convince the viewer that what they're looking at isn't just a drawing but an actual being that is capable of thought and emotion. That was the case last night in class as I sketched out this intimidating fellow. I imagined him to be a giant ogre that ornaments himself with human skulls.
Here's the process in reverse from Photoshop color and tonal tints going back in time to the original sketch. One of the things to look for while painting is consistent progress within the composition. If you're going about it the right way you can stop at just about any phase and it will have a feeling of completion. I could use just about any one of the following versions and it would work as a conceptual image.