No I blocked in the shapes, then went over the shapes with line art and then started rendering underneath. I need to practice some more though, there are some things that are off. It was more a colour practice than anything.
Look at Krita, Mypaint, Sketchbook pro and express, Artrage, and Corel Painter lite. I prefer Corel Painter, but they're all good. I believe you can get PS elements for $100 if you're desperate for it, but idk how it paints.
Make sure you have a pen tablet! Wacom has some good entry level ones.
Those are the old line. Get an "Intuos Pen" from the new line. It's dirt cheap ($80). Masterpieces have been done with entry level tablets.
If you want something a good size, you'll need an intuos pro M or L. They're big, sensitive, and full of features, but it's a big investment if you're on a budget or want the option of backing out. I have an L from 4th gen, and it serves me well, albeit hefty.
PS don't even think about cintiqs. Not worth it imo.