As promised, here's a basic run thorough of how I do my fearsome ladies sketches.
First is the research. How I find my lady of the day varies, but lately I've been utilizing the aforementioned podcast "The History Chicks". Today, I drew Lizzie Borden, a Massachusetts woman who was tried and acquitted of the murder of her father and stepmother, and
whose trial caused a media uproar like no other.
After I decide who I'm drawing, I'll try to do some research about her. If possible, I'll listen to a "History Chicks" podcast as I'm working, but if they don't have a podcast on the particular lady I am drawing, I'll try to read some online articles (or just the wikipedia if I'm lazy). I'll then I'll try to find some good image refs of her, usually just using google.
Then I'll do a really rough sketch in my sketchbook. I don't focus on a lot of details, I just try to get the general shape and look of the lady.
I then bring that sketch into photoshop and refine it.
Then I'll do the line-art!
Then I color and add texture! And viola, I'm done!
The colors I pick are usually inspired by my research, or the fashions of the time the lady is from. For this one, I figured a scheme of black and red would be appropriate considering the dark subject matter.