Now it actually looks like plate metal with a design painted on it
. The face doesn't look quite like embossed metal, but the tiger stripes down the fin DO look like they are recessed down and filled with paint. Maybe it's because the face plate is convex (and pushed out), so the only thing that looks recessed is the eye slit. Once you've settled on a design, maybe you could model the embossing into 3D?
As for the face design, it looks like it has a nose (it's a bit comical to me), and the black on white around the eyes looks a bit too much like Kiss face paint in my mind.