My “style” occurred naturally after trying to force a style for a year or so. I gave up trying to draw a certain way, and just made art the way I liked. I realized that style is very much rooted in the steps a person takes from the beginning of a piece to finish. Prior to that realization, I thought style was merely an intential thing.
My first step is to not care about the drawing. I know that that is not a good thing, but I really just don’t care. It is why I didn’t participate in inktober. I like my drawings to be loose, and the objects to be more shapes than anything. So if it is a moon, a cat, and a building, I try my best to make sure the image is designed with shapes more than “characters”. I’ve noticed that the more the shapes are correct, the better the final painting is. I also have fallen in love with painting more than drawing, and would love to one day just paint without drawing at all, but that may never happen.
My second step is to paint the underpainting. I always find the colors I want, and find the warmest color and create a value scale with that one color. I work out all of the lighting, and shadows, and the more time I spend on this process the better the final image is.
My mindset at this stage is that I have a very detailed underpainting, and I now have to mess it up a bit. I start dropping in scanned textures. I like watercolor textures, stuco textures, bark, skin etc. I try my best not to consider where I am placing the textures. I want it to look accidental, and in many ways, I want it to ruin the fine details a bit. I like knowing that all of that work is getting covered up a bit, and only hinted at being very controlled.
Then I move onto placing color on the image. This is the hardest step for me. Balancing color is not a strength of mine, so I tend to spent a lot of time complaining (important part of my process) to my wife that I am a fraud haha. Then it somehow starts to work, and I zero in on the details.
The final step is the Highlights. I go in and somewhat identify shapes that have been lost in the previous steps that I want to emphasize. I hit the parts that need better lighting, and the parts that need better shadows.
That is basically what I do every time. I am always looking for another weird thing to add to it all, but so far I like this process the best.