Originally Posted by Ixal
D&D, and sadly most of the derived fantasy works, treat the common fantasy races as nothing more than humans with funny ears. So I am all for giving them distinct, nonhuman features.
And don't stop with elves. Dwarves, Halflings and Gnomes should also have faces which visibly differs from humans so you can see which races it is just by looking at the portrait instead of having to see how large they are.

Not really... I think this extreme humanization of non-human races mostly stems from movies (like the LotR series) and, above all else, video games... as long as they only existed in written or illustration form, this trend wasn't nearly as pronounced.