Proj #1: Penguin(s are officially evil)

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“Pick an object and try to render it as realistically as possible.”

Process Comments
Preliminary Before starting, I tried to get really decent reference pictures of it to use in the image planes. What I found out is that I am incapable of taking good & useful reference images but I made do with what I managed to get.
Body So with the improperly angled and scaled reference images in the image planes, I decided to go with lofting CV curves. I split the body into essentially a 2×3 grid. I focused on the right half first, then drew the 3 curves for each section and lofted. I merged the vertices between sections inside the penguin in order to get that etched look that separated the sections. I then copied the completed half and attached the two halves together.
Also, I think the real penguin’s shorter and rounder than my model.
Detailing For the details on the body such as the extra ridges around the chest, etc, I drew CV curves to represent them and projected the curves unto the body. Once I had the curve projected, I intended to split them but that functionality is apparently really finicky in Maya. I ended up having to do interactive-split on a lot of the faces and moving vertices around to get the general shape. Once I had the shape, I extruded more often than not.
Arms I used the same method for the arms as I did with the detailing. Unfortunately, this method did not work out as well. It might have been a lot better had I used a sphere/cylinder and transformed it accordingly. Then attached them to the body. It’s also hard to see the arms exist with the black lambert shader.
Feet I did the toes 2 different ways. I believe the one I included in the final were transformed cylinders. Once I had a toe done, I copied and transformed for the other two.
For the ankle/leg part, I used a transformed sphere. I attached the toes to the sphere once I had the shape down for the leg/back part of the foot. I then split the faces to get the flattened look on the bottom. I also used edge loops and scaling to get that extra ridge detail around the feet.
Face I drew 2 curves for the top & bottom of the beak. Lofted between them and filled the holes, and then attached them to the face.
Eyes were 2 spheres, pushed back at the 3rd ring and then pulled out the inner ring to get the pupil.
Eyebrows were faces duplicated from the top half of the eyes and transformed.
I realize that I have a hard time keeping track of my mesh, and ensuring that everything is clean especially when using tools like cut faces. I also need to start thinking more about tangency and resolution of the edges I’m attaching. I would not be surprised if there are a few n-gons and concave faces. I tried to clean it up and keep it clean, but it can get overwhelming at times.
Also, I learned organic bodies are really hard. When working with organic shapes, I realize I have a tendency to work in the smooth view, which does not always mean it will look right outside of that view. This is why I think there might be some off-looking shapes that I overlooked.
Finally, I didn’t attempt to get the Dreamworks logo in. I fear what kind of mess my mesh would be in if I had.