May 23, 2012 11:00:31 AM EDT
I agree that Photoshop is a great program, (I prefer to use it myself), but it also expensive. Paint Tool Sai is a great alternative, (full version only costs $50 or so), and it has really smooth linework in comparison to photoshop.
As for methods, ahh... I use a tablet when I draw, but using in program tools like the pen tool are another good alternative to using the mouse.
The way I like to color is hard to explain, but I try to treat it like I am painting with acrylics? Layering colors and shades and whatnot.
I am far from being a great artist, but if you want any advice I would be glad to help!