I established the mom and baby first then added details around them. I also start out with the intention of a simple scene, but my imagination takes over and I got a lot more to paint.
I start with a unifying wash.
I built up the water in many, many layers. It takes so much time, but is well worth it. The water has more depth and interest than if it were a flat wash.
Once the water was done, I started with the manatees and the bottom.
I slowly built up the rest of the scene, maintaining the main characters as the focal point.
The turtle is a little sub-story that I added. It was fun to come up with things he could be doing.
The final. This is one of my favorites from the book. The design is strong and has a lot of movement.
The book is very cute. I hope you enjoy it!