I was flipping through some women's magazine from work, looking for inspiration (the ads in those mags often have excellent photos to base compositions off of), and found this article about something or other, with photos of this woman posing around this fabulous dead tree sitting on a beach below the high tide line. This picture is created using one of those images as a starting point. And no, it is not traced at all, any more than anything else I do is ever traced.
I put it in a desert instead of a beach, and have made the model an angel with a sarong-ish thing. With the possible exception of the tree itself, getting those wings right was probably the hardest part of this one. Drawing those feathers so they appeared to be pointed at the right angle was quite a chore.
In order to manage a satisfactory level of detail on the angel, I actually drew everything in rough, scanned the area around the figure in, then printed it out blown up to fill an 8.5x11 sheet of paper, which I then used to trace out the rough on a separate sheet of my drawing pad (11x14). From that point on, I drew the tree and background, and the figure separately. I left most of the rough of the figure in place on the original scene, and when the sketch was done, I scanned both in, and replaced the figure. Unfortunately, the addition of the wings was a little taller than I'd planned when I started the figure, so the top 3 feathers on the nearer wing, and the top 2 on the farther one, had to be drawn out of place, then cut and pasted where they belonged after scanning. Still its turned out quite well so far, I think.
You can see a detail shot of the woman here
ETA: I've just uploaded a new version of this picture, as of 2/19/2017. It's a bit cleaned up, and a higher resolution now - and is also available as a print!
Pencil on sketch paper, composited and cleaned up in Photoshop©