The steps you're seeing:
1) A very rough draft, just blocking in where everybody is going to go and the general flow of the background. This is basically thumbnailing, but I do it at scale so it might not technically be.
2) The sketch. I basically ignore the draft layer (referencing it only for composition) or my eyes get confused by it and everything comes out flat.
3) Inks. CLEAN AS A WHISTLE. Added detail.
4) Flats. Good good colors based on experience and palettes.
5) Details! Stuff like blush and a soft yellow light brushed over the scene.
In animation news!
The first animation is going to be Sad Ted and the Suicide Hotline as suggested by Aaron Weber on the MercWorks Patreon Kids group on Facebook (join up if you haven't!). It's a good pick because it's loaded with jokes, it's got a good pace, and it's not too long.
The countdown begins TODAY - I have 28 days (deadline Friday 12/16) to have a final animation ready to ship, so you can expect next week's update to cover the storyboard process and any pre-production work I need to do.
I'm also planning a post-mortem regarding the Patreon animation, which I'm gonna post publicly on the Patreon and which you can expect at the beginning of next week probably??