Funky Bunnies, Massbot, Japhir, ranek, Screwonhed:
I definitely need to do some more work on those areas to make the color work better. Right now it's very dull and the hands need a lot more detail and just lovin' in general. I'm thinking of bringing the color closer to a magenta sort of hue.
Done! The socks should read a little better now.
I've been thinking about what kind of pedestal I might want to do, but I haven't settled on anything definitive quite yet. I do have some ideas brewing, though.
I'll definitely add more shadow to the upper leg. I've hardly touched the hands, so that's on the to-do list. As for blank spaces in the UVs, I'm not sure there's actually much I can do. The edges of the UV islands need some padding to work well with anistropic filtering and mipmaps. I may be able to scale a couple of things up, but I'm not sure how well it'll work.
I know what you mean about the copy/paste feel of the arms, but it really can't be avoided at this point. All the arms and hands share the same UV space and that was done specifically so I could get better at UV mapping. This entire thing has been more of a technical exercise than an actual artistic one, honestly.
The white socks simply weren't working very well; they were popping out way too much with the current color scheme, so I elected to change them to the pink of the jersey. I did desaturate them and add a bit of a gradient, though, so I think that helps tone them down.
I've done various little tweaks and bits of cleanup everywhere, but the past few hours have been focused on his clothes. In the previous updates, I just had solid base colors and a grayscale overlay with wrinkles painted on it to give a sense of depth. That was just a placeholder, so now I'm actually painting the cloth on a single layer instead of just using adjustment layers and hacks to get the details.
One problem I'm facing now is that there isn't much value difference between the skin and the outfit, so I need to make the clothes a bit darker to pop out. That shouldn't be a huge problem; it just boils down to levels adjustment and such.