Details, details, details
As I render the character, it’s important to pay attention to the little details: his smirk, his buttons and patches, the holes in his T-shirt, his tattoo, and so on. All of these help tell the story of the character beyond what’s happening in the scene, and set him apart as a character who lives beyond just fulfilling the purpose of this one piece of art.
Making things cohesive
The last stage of painting the character is to make sure I light him appropriately so he looks like he’s a part of the scene, in addition to being the focal point. He’s lit with the same hard red light that’s affecting the other characters, but he retains much of his natural colouring, which helps him stand out. I make sure to blend into the scene any elements that seem out of place on him or are drawing too much attention.