one of the first deviations I favorited since joining, and 2 years later it is still on my list (now at 30). the hair and the eyes are perfect. there's not a hint of exaggeration or unnaturalness in this portrait whatsoever. beautiful.
Good to see you pick your favorites carefully, I feel flattered by it (=
About the background, I cant remember how I've done that precisely, but with a quite accurate guessing would be: it probably done with an oblique pointed mechanical 2b pencil, and really soft drawn stripes very close together. Which later been softly smudged with a tortillion (in a 90 degrees different angle).