Haha, thanks for the kind words ^^.
So what i tend to do is i start with flat color, then add a second tone for shadow, then once that's looking readable I start doing more rendering by colorpicking and trying to define form.
Here's an example using one of Laurel's illustration. As you can see in the highlighted areas, there are only two or three different tones indicating light and shadow.
As for the rendering process there's nothing special about it. Again, i just color pick either my shadow tone or a light tone and i try to define form, blending with my regular brush. I don't use any fancy texture brushes or whatever. At least not yet as i'm still trying to get better and more cofortable with painting. I recomend checking out some anthony jones tutorials. He's really good at rendering/blending and i learned a lot by watching him paint.
But obviously all of those artists mentioned know a billion more things about art and painting than i do. So i strongly believe that the best way to learn is to study their stuff. That's how i got my style and that's how i'm still learning. But yeah, i hope this helps for now. Feel free to ask if you have any questions. Cheers! ^^