The characters OP is making remind me of DAZ3D studio. I messed around with it but it is considerably more difficult to master than PS or gimp. there is some serious skills in Kirkfat's work.
btw Kirkfat, can you make her eyes more blue and mess around a little bit with her cheek bones? Other than those 2 points and her missing trademark headgear she's spot on.
Yeah, I'm using DAZ. And my skills are not that good. I've basically learned how to pose and mess with sliders, which is pretty much all I can do.
I wish that I had a powerful computer that could process animations.
It's really not that tough of a program to use, once you learn the basics. It's kind of like amateur cgi puppet theater. It's also a free program, BUT you have to pay for everything, from little bits of clothing to models and creature sliders, etc. But I have fun with it.