Coming up with an idea is the first step to any project. So, I recommend you begin by sketching your character. At this stage, your main task is to conceptually draw your character, with your desired composition, posture or movement, and expression of emotion. Your concept may be a real person or a completely abstract character from your imagination. :)
The next step is to scan the image. You may also use any other way to transfer/upload/download your sketch/drawing to the computer. You can even take picture from a smartphone. :)
Next, import the digital sketch/image into Photoshop. Now, the fun begins! Create a new layer. Then, you will create an outline on the new layer on the top of your sketch. You can do this with the help of Basic Brush. Also, you can regulate the diameter with the help of key combination Ctrl+.
After this, we have got a clear line drawing of our character with a white background. Now you color/paint your character. I would recommend that you to create each new element on a new layer. This allows you to enrich each illustration by textures and processing and give you more flexibility.
Of, course you can stop at this stage, if you like. But perfection has no boundaries! Let’s add to the image some vivid colors and diversify it. For this, you can use some textures, backgrounds and patterns. Then, you must import this texture on the top of the layers and make a Clipping Mask. At this point, you can’t play with blending options here.
The final stage is to harmoniously add our character to the background. Select individual objects, add shadows and… here you go!
Our character is ready!
Remember to always have fun and never stop experimenting!
See also: 5 Rules Web Designer Can Safely Ignore