I first start with quick thumbnails to lay out my composition.
After doing research on acura tl's and giraffes I then sketched out my idea on tracing paper, and made revisions until I was satisfied. Tracing paper is forgiving in that way.
Then I use a light table or even a window to trace my drawing onto my colored paper and then cut it out with an exacto knife. I use ink pads to add shadows and gradients to my paper.
I repeat this process until all of my figures and objects in my illustration are complete.
Here is the finished piece! It is much more simple this time around when compared to my previous projects, and I made it flat instead of 3D. I included his dog Turbo in the back seat. I also included a Montana sign since that's where he served his mission, and of course I included an orange and blue scarf since those are his favorite colors. Happy Birthday Tan!