I have a bit of an unorthodox workflow, so I figured I'd show you all steps and the  whole process of making an illustration from start to finish. 

I don't really draw with lines or pencil, but prefer to work in shapes and color, which can look a bit strange if you're not used to it.
I'll take you through all the steps so you know what to expect and when :) ​​​​​​​
This is the final image, I'll take you through all the steps to show you how I got to this point. 

first I start with a very rudimentary sketch:
At this stage I am really not worried about the character design or color palette just yet.

The most important part of this step is coming up with an interesting composition and set the mood. 
If I can already set up a fitting mood and clear composition in this stage I know the image will work when everything is fleshed out. 
 then I usually move on to the actual character design. 

these are the sketches for the guy on the far right. 
(note: we won't see his face from the front in the final image, but it's easier to start with a frontal view of a character and then make a side view instead of vice versa)
I just keep going until I get a sense that a character feels alive.