Original picture: [link]
. Photoshop file consists of visible 110 Layers, 30 Layer Groups and 90 Masks for Layers and Groups. Plus hidden backup/draft/intermediate stuff.
1. Lineart. Inking of the scanned image. Usually the pencil lines on the scanned sketch are very thick so I have to redraw many control lines. At final stages I'll make contours much less visible.
2. Separated Flat colors. Textures will be created for each of them.
3. First type of textures consists of patterns - textures in the literal sense of the word. At the same time with some suitable standard textures I'm using own homemade patterns: fabric jeans-like texture and hexagons, for example. But before using them I've also had to add various effects, light and dark areas over the simple hexagon pattern.
4. The second type of textures include spotted or granular color variation, edge scratches and various details. This type don't have to be 3-D/solid but just smooth. Made with low-pressured spongy brushes. Also I've drawn cloth pattern according to the arrangement on game model. I don't draw the glass of mask here because it's transparent, coloured and interact with incident light.
5. Two types of textures together.
6. Flat lighting. When I'll change the lighting mode then already drawn textures will be seen through transparent light BUT both light and surfaces are still smooth. So recently I've added some additional steps to my process: texturing the light and lighting the textures. See lower.
7. Here I've changed the mode of light and textured it according to existing patterns. Also I've added deep shadows.
8. At this step I've lighted up the textures. You can see differences between two steps on scaled-up belt area. Leather is always the most obvious and expressive example of lighted texture changes but here you can see also how all metal granules and tiny cloth stitches are lighted up.
Sky and clouds created with simple round 1% brushes.
Also I've added highlights and various light effects: from glowing indicators to the transparent coloured glass. Effects can interact (cross) with the background so I create them last of all.
Signature is the end.