Okay, I've combined the elements I prefered between the three different quick sketches. I think this makes him look the most badass at least. XD
I prefered the upper chestplate of the left most one, but the coat and belt of the rightmost one. At the same time, I wanted the cloth flap from the middle one as well. I think it's key to make someone look like a bad ass spellcaster. XD
Also, after much deliberation, I decided to go with the skull motiff on the cloak, rather then sewn-together faces and screaming faces. The material I'm imagining, that I'm going to make additional studies on, is like.. imagine cloth with skulls protruding from it from behind it, but with the bone being lightly luminescent.. Or if I just can't imagine it properly on paper, I'll go for the skulls simply looking like necrotic energy on the inside of the cloak.
I've done a bunch of different color experiments now. These are the ones I got out of it in the end. Black is so boring. I mean, I could just leave it black until I put it into the illustrative piece.. But that could make for a flat piece. >.< Plus, this helps me get the visual stimuli I need to come up with the illustration. ^^;
Unfortunately, I prefer no 3. I know it's the most boring one, and the one thats.. kinda like.. the most standard one as well.. But the other one really catches your eyes better.
Feel free to input. ^^ Tomorrow, it's time to actually slap down a proper concept sketch of the character instead of this thumbnail XD