In order to improve my painting and character designs I seeked for some advice from the professionals. So I e-mailed Brett Bean, an American character designer whose work I find really inspiring. So this is the advice he gave me and hoping to take with me :)
I paint characters in a couple of ways. One is to hand draw the contour lines and edges and then use it as the basis for the painting on a multiply layer. Sometimes I'll cover the lines up with paint, sometimes they'll be hard line edges if the project dictates it. I also just start painting sometimes in Photoshop. And I've been known to start with a black canvas and paint white silhouettes and color in from there. Regardless of any method, silhouettes and the read of the character is the most important. I rarely work from grey scale with characters but will for environments. not sure why, just something I started to do. I am not a big custom brush user, too many artists use it as a crutch to define their design. Design is all very much on purpose and I see far too many people allowing brushes to dictate their designs. I use a few that remind me of pastels or other mediums but not much more than that. Character should be developed like this (something I teach in my class): Idea and silhouettes (lots of them) > tightened art of the best idea > color comp > finished design.
Finding your voice is hard to do because the world we live in now is go go go. And it takes awhile to find out who you are and what you want to say. Patience is the key. Learn from others and just take all the nuggets of awesome you agree with and you start forming who you are. A lot of artists emulate and just copy but if you want to define your own voice it will take time. Anything is possible. Be happy with how far you've come but not satisfied with where you're at. Good luck, I hope this helps a little on your journey."
Really good advice :D
This is Brett Bean's Blog if anyone is interested in his work.http://2dbean.blogspot.com/