Ok....my first sketches are always rough, just playing with an idea. I refine it a little bit before I start the rendering. Then on tracing paper I very lightly will start with a single center line to use as a reference. I also draw a center line on my rough sketch to compare. The rough sketches are just a tad bigger than actual size but the rendering will be at least 3 to four times actual size. All first lines are drawn as lightly as possible.....and with a .3mm pencil that I keep fine sanded to a needlepoint. I use an eraser shield and an eraser a lot....but try to draw lines only once (ha!). I use a compass whenever a clean large circle or an arc is called for. I use plastic templates for smaller circles or arcs. I use a steel straight edge and have several french curves on hand. I try and keep my grubby, oily hands off the paper by covering areas already drawn with another sheet of clean paper. When all the lines are lightly drawn just the way I want them, I erase whatever extra marks I can find and air blast the residue off. Then I darken all the lines. Then I shade it. Then I hit the whole thing with the eraser again, and air blast it. Then I apply a very light spray of "Aussie Instant Freeze" hair spray. Now it's time to paint the back. With fine sable brushes I first paint only the areas which are "gold", being very careful not to go outside the lines, hee hee! Dry it thoroughly. Then I rather sloppily apply the other colors quickly so as not to disturb the gold layer. Dry thoroughly. For this job I then also returned to the front and applied tiny smudges (without any rubbing or blending) of a day-glo green oil pastel to the green stones for highlights and green, orange and a little blue for the opal's play of color. For this back-painted rendering to be successful, you must use at least tracing paper......but vellum is uber nice! From there on it's photoshop for color-enhancement and more cleanup. But the images above are how far I get by hand.