So at first I did these really rough sketches in an app called Paper, which is really nice but is definitely not for detailed work:
And then I think after Cinda posted up her pro cloud drawing, I went into Sketchbook Express (which I hadn't explored in depth before) and started drawing with my stylus, and finished drawing one character in two nights while sitting on my bed while everyone else is asleep.
Note that this is not my character, it a simplified version of a character in the manga "Are you Alice?". I used this page as reference. This is pretty much my first time drawing manga characters, so I reckon I should go with copying for a while and figure out my style on the way. I'm still working on (and practising like mad) to draw eyes like that without looking at the reference.
Here's what came out of it:
The lineart took 2 and a half hours - that's the first night
Then the colouring took 4 and a half hours (last night):
Before I cleaned up the mess, it looked like this:
Those are the colours (the colour picker function is so awesome) and the opacities and size brushes I used. Turns out, you can manage pretty well without the blend tool if you use very low opacity and five different shades of colour. I was also working with only 3 layers, so I had one layer of lineart on top, and then merge the other two layers before going on to another. I imagine that might not work so well for more complicated drawings.
The pupil of her eyes make her look either dead of stoned (maybe some lighter blue on the edges?) and I think I should have done more blending and shadows on the face (it looks too flat), but it's done!
Now I have to work out what to do for the background.