Shading with text
While I was working on my first character, Alice, my girlfriend and I came up with an awesome idea: Why not use layers of text to create the faces? To try that out, I copied huge chunks of the original text into Photoshop using a small font size and used the layer mask feature to make them appear in certain places.
This enabled me to basically "paint" with text! By layering different passages of the source material on top of each other, so that the letters of one text fill out the spaces of the other, I could achieve the look of a darker shading while I used another layer written in a white font to create highlights.
If that sounds convoluted, that's because, well, it kind of is! So I recorded a little video to explain it better.