This is not a "how to draw and do cool shit" thing
I USE PAINT TOOL SAI Please feel free to ask questions in the comments, I'm not the best at explaining things because I do them a bit mindlessly, but I TRY HARD. Again, I'd like the remind that this is my own methods and this isnt like.... this isnt the only way to do things, and all the stuff I say is pretty much my opinion haha. I also toss terms around randomly and probably use them wrong.
I have also kept track of the time it took me in case anyone is interested. The TIME at the end of each part summarzies the time taken for that individual part, and not the time taken since the beginning (you would have to add them up for that). I hope you enjoy!
III - BASE COLORS
Three layers - the color layer, the main lineart layer and then green unofficial lineart layer
Choice of lineart color - I pick the color for my lineart based on the colorscheme of the character. For the time being, I leave it at that, but sometimes before merging the lineart down at the end, I airbrush over the lineart layer (locked) with other colors, notably warmer colors around the skin area.
Filling the image - either I zoom in and like.. pen the whole outline of the picture and then fill that with the bucket, OR if my lineart was clean enough, I use the selection tool to select outside of the drawing, do (selection > inverse), and then fill the newly selected areas (the drawing).
Colorscheme - I rely heavily on the colors of the character ref, but I always take a few minutes to test variations of the color and to see what fits more with the image. For example, pure black wouldve been too harsh for the border of her top, but using a lighter color doesnt hide the fact that it's black.
ITS NOT TOO LATE, IT'S NEVER TOO LAAATE - you might be thinking "ohh my lineart is done i cant fix things boohoo". I have news for u, u can. So dont hesitate in fixing shit up if you realise that it's not working out.
This is basically how the whole painting over thing is gonna be going in the next part. However doing this like this lets me take care of teh face without making too much of a mess, and without making them look too.... wait for it.... desaturated.
My recommendations for shading the face is to always think of it globally. Dont think of only one individual feature, but how it works with the rest of the face, how other colors can be brought in, how the connecting areas look like, etc. I think this helps tie the face together instead of having you know... a blob with random facial features floating in it.
Maybe because you might need more practice? I dunno, you dont just suddenly learn to do things by reading a tutorial, you need practice on your back too It might also be cause my method isnt like yours or youre unused to it, or that it just feels odd