Have been asked a few times what my process is, so here is a brief rundown of a recent character. My process is pretty simple and the little details usually vary every time I work. It is mainly just a lot of me messing around until the image looks half decent to these eyeballs.
So for on of my historical figures I start by doing a few simple thumbnails, I do not spend much time on these and they are meant to be fast. As you can see these are not always pretty looking, but they give me an idea of the shapes and pose I could go with.
For the sake of speed I then scan these in and mess around with the drawing in photoshop until I have something I like. I prefer using pencil but being able to transform stuff is faster.
After this I start laying down my flat colors, and break all the parts of the image into separate layers, this is dull and time consuming but helps me work out color schemes later and works with how I paint. I also draw in what lines I want on a layer on top. I then work through various color schemes until I find one I like, there were more then the three shown here. I usually have an idea of what mood I want, but on other occasions it is just a lot of messing around until it feels right. Color adjustments layers are great friends.
The next step is to begin painting in volumes. I have moved away from extremely realistic lighting and focus more on trying to create volume. I use lots of multiply layers and hard light layers to build up shadow and color shift. I have a bunch of custom brushes I made and have been given from fellow artists and generally paint with high opacity and low flow to get a drier looking texture out of them. Here is a middle of the road image.
For this character I also brought in some patterns to add the detail of the dress. Here is the image before adding in textures and noise.
At the end of an image I add layer of texture made from a brush that creates a bit of a papery feel. This layer is always black and white and set to overlay at a relatively low opacity. I then add a new layer of noise to give the image some texture, and also blur certain areas to draw focus to the important parts. Here is the final.
That is it. I am not sure how much this explains, but it is not overly complicated, just lots of experimenting.