Well this is another pic that should have been finished ages ago and I think I know why I procrastinate so much with these BG's (I think they're cursed) I seem to have the worst luck when I'm working on one.
I'm hoping to creat a design and colouring tutorial in the future but a quick explaination for designing something for me at least is start with a purpose (what you want this thing to be used for) and a head design. My thought is the personality of a design is in the head. From the head I work the body shape. A bulky body looklooks slower so is better for a heavier armored or support design, a thiner design looks more like a faster front line or close combat design. I change my ideas frequently depending on the shape that starts to take so just go the way you feel looks better and come up with its purpose later. I generally follow two themes though for design. The first is sections. The shoulders should almost take shape from the body and when completed with the body should form sort of a concave triangle from shoulder to shoulder to crotch. The next theme I use is regularity of design in that if you look at some of my designs, shins match forearms in sort of a shield like irregular/angular design. I like using a 3 or 5 hole design for lightening of weight or cooling of heat sources like thrusters throughout one design or vents for another. I try to think simple and slightly of realism. How would this move and could it move with the joints it has. Basically I have a lot of design thoughts and ideas that form the final mech but a mix of realism, believability & simplicity I think works best. I don't know if any of this helps you but let me know if there are any specifics you'd like to know about : )
Not really, I tend to use what ever is available. I probably use a 2H pencil on a single sheet of printer paper mostly because it's easier to position and I move my paper arround alot to make certain lines and angles easier. This way I also only put the sketches I'm happy with in a binder with a plastic sleeve.