Okay, more progress: Reference photos have been taken and retaken again. Now that I finally have a set that I can safely start out with (see below) I've finally been able to really start woking hardcore..
(note, the roommate who took this really isn't well versed in the art of photographing (ie getting the entire figure in the frame...)
From there I began changing lighting ever so slightly, and skin tone to give that ghostly glow I was going for, as well as eliminating the eyes.
There is still a lot of work left.