Rough sketching. I'd say it's pretty self explanatory. I drew different layers with different colors. It's the only way my brain can keep all this straight. Brown = base/body, black = clothing, blue = lightsaber. Most of the time I sketch with a pencil in photoshop but this one is done with a hard round brush. She's up against a dark background so I figured the bold lines would make her stand out better once all was done.
Clean up the picture. Normally I use the pen tool to map out the curves. I... lazed out. The pen tool is an enormous pain in the arse even with a tablet. The only advantage is smoother lines. For this picture, I just traced over the sketch layer with a hard round brush. The lightsaber itself is not drawn in, but I'll get to that later. I also did a little fixing on the fingers, nose, and fine details.
Lay down flat colors. Not too hard. I mainly use this as a reference to what color combinations I want to move forward with, although some artists will use the flats as a base to start off. I put each color in a different layer to make it easier to fix or replace colors I don't like. Merge them when finished but don't include the outline.All layers should be set to Multiply.
Here's the fun stuff. I customized a brush to correspond to pen pressure. To do this (Photoshop), hit F5 or select Window > Brushes. Select your basic brush you want to modify. I chose 19px hard round. In Other Dynamics, you'll see a Control drop down menu underneath Jitter Control. Set it to Pen Pressure.
Apply your colors. If your flats are set to multiply, this is what will happen:
Don't forget about reflections from the light! Shadowed areas will always have a little sliver or light that's reflected from a nearby surface.
The lightsaber. There are a few good lightsaber FX tutorials floating around so I won't go in depth about it. Here's the one I used. It's the simplest, as long as you know how to adjust the Gaussian blur a little bit to your needs. Now that you have your lightsaber, feel free to add some "glow" to the body where the light would catch. I created a new layer and brushed in some red to her left side, then adjusted the opacity of the layer. If your lines are too hard, try erasing them with an eraser with opacity set to <30%. That wil lsoften up the edges.
Ok this isn't really step 7. You're supposed to add the background in once you've figured out what basic colors you will paint your focus (Asajj). That way your character won't disappear into the background or create visual problems. Anyway, I created the background with nothing but tools: Gradient, Gaussian Blur, meshing 2 logos I previously drew. Shabam. Then I signed it in the corner and called it done.