This usually includes a collection of images from artists who create work that has elements that I want in my own work. (Not just a collection of things I like, I like a lot of work I don't want to emulate.) I then study the images to see how that artist works. This could be the use of colour, the composition, the shapes etc.
2 - Try something out. I often use digital dolling to prat about because they're small so I can try out colours and ideas.
3 - Analyse image, what's working what is not.
4 - Make another picture keeping in mind where your weaknesses were last time. Then Analyse, then Make, then Analyse. 6 months later I realise my work has now improved.
Tbh Make and Analyse and Make another picture is the main improvement. Not just make and make and make. The Analysis is the key.
I try and do some kind of drawing every day, traditional or digital. If it's not for homework, it's generally in the form of sketches, thumbnails, or studies. I'm trying to make much more realistic work so the studies are especially important.
I study how other people draw the things I'd like to draw and maybe go over a few tutorials to get an idea of how things work. After that I try to go solo and fit what I've learned into my own style. I try to avoid too much tutorial drawing since I don't find copying to be a proper way to learn. You might learn how to draw a certain pose but not much beyond that. I also try to pay attention to several artists and styles instead of one specific.
I have a few ways. I look at the things I like, and try to draw fan art of them. Another way is to find a sort of prompt, and draw a design based on that. The final way I practice is fairly common, I just draw OC's, or sketch random things that pop into my head.
Even if there is a small chance in winning, I join contests as much as possible just for fun and for the sake of my improvement. When it comes to practicing my coloring, I buy a coloring book or just borrow linearts from other artists.