At first glance, the Pacific white tern looks a great deal like the New Zealand fairy tern or tara iti, so the first step is to establish the differences between them.
Right, so basically, the white tern is like a fairy tern in goth makeup - all white except for exaggerated black lines around the eyes. Other than that, they seem to be structurally very similar.
Time to sketch
The initial sketches are done, time to fill them out.
At least the colouring stage isn't arduous! I made sure that the shades of white matched the tara iti design, and that the little details like beaks and feet were the right colour, and it was sorted!