Before I begin working with my design I looked for reference that fit within the look and feel of what I want to accomplish. Once I've gathered my reference I'll arrange it with my dynamesh rough sculpt. I use this to help maintain the direction for my piece. These also com in handy when trying to visually communicate to another artist or director what type of style I'm reaching for.
These also help when trying to rough out some color samples as well as having a quick glance for what type of finish I'd like to apply to the piece.
At this same point I'll export a character strip from ZBrush. This usually ends my first phase of conception and design. Beyond this point I begin to refine and resolve any questionable areas. I may or may not sketch on my work in Photoshop for my own personal notes.
Currently I'm not 100% happy with the design. It has the look and feel of a space suit verses something meant to keep a body cool. My biggest pet peeve with this design it the lack of mobility from the shoulders up. I'll need to figure out a better solution for allowing the character to lift his arms.
Once I'm happy with the form I'll begin my second phase of planning. This is the point the I begin to plan tertiary design elements as well as testing certain area's.
This continues to be a work in progress. Once I have the shoulders and neck area resolved then I'll move forward to the next step.
To be continued.....