|Finished hand sculpt at around 1 million triangles.|
|Deciding which polycount would retain the silhouette best.|
Left to right; 1.2k to 4k triangles.
So what I ended up doing was importing the high poly model at a few levels lower and constructed a mesh around it using Maya 2013. Below is the finished low poly model. It's around 1800 triangles; well within the polygonal limit for this assignment.
ps. added picture for Zcurves (maybe I'm doing it wrong)