This is a sketch of Marina, one of my book charas (wip). For the first time, I'm trying a workflow that I customized for me. I came up with the idea of working with a kind of outline template (image one). I created this using the lasso tool by tracing the reference image.
That's step 2. First, I sketch the drawing freehand - I swear. And then I throw away the freehand sketch. There may come a time when I won't trace. But for now, tracing is part of my learning process.
Step 3 is freehand sketching within the contour. The template reduces my stress level. I don't need to worry if my chara has the right volume.
Step 4: I throw away the second freehand sketch and trace the reference (picture 3). You may ask, why I invest time in freehand sketching at all if I throw away these sketches anyway. This is how I familiarize myself with the reference and it's kind of a warm up. The result of the tracing will be better.
Step 5 - 6: Shading from the general to the details (wip).
Step 7: Working out the details and maybe the lighting.
Perhaps I will color this picture with Photoshop gradient maps. (I am lazy and this method is so cool to save time.)