(click on an image for larger view)
STEP 1: ROUGH SKETCH
I do a rough sketch and flesh out the character. I try and keep it loose, but still tight enough to ink on top with a new layer.
STEP 2: INK
I make a new layer on top of the sketch layer, drop the sketch layer's opacity to around 15-20%, doesn't really matter, then I ink. I try and get a good variety in line width. I think no line width variety is boring to look at. For this particular commission, it's rather large, so I'm using the 20pt default setting brush tool. For a regular comics page I use between the 5pt and 10pt default brush.
STEP 3: SHADOWS
The next thing I do is do a "shadow" layer. I do a layer copy of the ink layer, put it directly under the the ink layer, then drop the opacity to around 30-40%. The higher the percent, the more "direct sunlight" feel the shadows will look. I rarely go above 40%. To make the shadows I use the LASSO tool and paint bucket.
STEP 4: COLOR
For the coloring, I make another layer copy of the ink layer, put it under the shadow layer and go nuts with the paint bucket tool. I set the tolerance to around 30. I usually have to click in an area 3 times to make the white "halo" edge disappear. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just take the brush tool, draw a closed shape and then fill it will a color using the paint bucket. You'll see a sort of "halo" around the inside of the shape. Hit the paint bucket 2 more times and it will go away.
STEP 5: FINISHING TOUCHES
Here is where I put some finishing touches on the character. For this particular character, Chandra from Magic: The Gathering, I put a red color overlay since she is some kind of a "fire maker". (sorry, I don't know the story behind her). Also I put a red "rim light" around her. This will tie her into the background once I draw it. I added texture, more shininess, glow effects and things like that.
Anyways, that's my process right now. Magical, right?
If you have any questions feel free to email me (see top banner image) or put it in the comment section of this post. Enjoy.