#1 - My very first idea & the one I liked best. Wanted something that would look good with simple, soft shading/colours & let the lines do most of the work.
#2 - Pencil lines, just on regular printer paper as the texture wasn't particularly important for this one. Tidied up the scan - levels and a bit of burning in round the eyes.
#3 - On various layers set to multiply, got down the basic flat colours picked from the reference image then added the first layer of shading/highlights with clipping masks (makes things easier & neater).
#4 - Soft light layer! Added more glow-y, brighter highlights with a warm cream colour, and deeper shadows in a purple hue to tie with the background a little better. Wooden textures from, no surprise, CGtextures.com added on a clipping mask & set to multiply as the background needed to be much darker than my original purple.
Beams are just gradient-filled, rectangular selections with a good amount of gaussian blur (about 87 radius) with 'dust speckles' caught in the light. Sparkles. This layer is just normal, the blur adds enough translucency for the lines.
Well aware I still need post the WIP of my contribution to Nevermet Press, so that'll be the next one, for sure this time.