I thought you'd like to see a few screenshots of how I went from a pencil sketch of my mascot, an elephant named Hannibal, to a 3D model of him. I used an application called 3D-Coat to start the base mesh, also known as geometry.
After some serious tweaking, I finally get to the point where I can start to paint textures and add things like wrinkles.
From here I export the model into a format my other 3D software application, called Maya, can understand. I import Hannibal into Maya where I add lights to the scene.
Finally, I'm ready to bring the fully lighted render into Photoshop for some post-production work, which includes color correction and compositing. The finished (or close to finished, as I'm still tweaking the model) is then placed above ice.