Step 1 – Sourcing Leis – lots of potential places to find great lei works: from lei stands in Chinatown or from great haku makers on the North Shore (these two being unwrapped are from @Haku_Lei_Haleiwa . . . . and they are truly amazing. These pictures really don’t do them justice).
Step 2 – Photographing the Leis - I take LOT of photos of each lei / haku and then choose, crop, and alter the photos until I have a single idea to work from. Sometimes I feel like I’m cheating when I work from a photo (vs. the actual lei), but the work takes weeks and (unfortunately) the leis don’t last forever.
Step 3 – Basic Pencil Drawing - This is the first point where I’m starting the actual design on paper. I use extra thick Bristol Board and a everyone’s favorite pencil from standardized tests, the famous Number 2 Pencil (and a lot of erasers).
Step 4 - Planning the color scheme. Lots of colors in some of these haku . . . . . have to make sure they all work well together. I generally will make a template for the colors (and base color for those colors) that will go in the final drawing before I start the next step.