Hi Jeanette, I've had a look at both versions of this and I can see you're getting to grips with some of the features of Illustrator while you're working on the image as a whole. I think it would be better to work on the basic image and establish the elements, then decide on their colouring, feathering and transparency once you're happy with the drawing.
There's a steep learning curve for this kind of software, particularly if you're aiming for quite a realistic end result as I think you are here; for this type of image I'd suggest working from reference materials as a means to achieving the best results, you can even trace over photographs directly if you want to which can be the start of some very convincing work.
In addition to getting help in the Digital Art forum here on WC! you might like to have a look through the galleries of vector art on deviantArt
(don't be put off by the name
) which have subsections for different subjects and there is a lot of good work of all levels to admire and be inspired by.