The Jules Verne story, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea is commonly illustrated with the scene of the Giant Squid attack. For the sake of tradition, I decided to do the same and maintain my stylistic aesthetics. I begin the illustration with a black and white "ink" drawing. I love working with a traditional painting approach, building layers while allowing textures and colors to show through them.
Sketching the subjects of the illustration was fun to explore. I had a few goals in mind but I wanted to keep my style in tact. Dealing with the main subject, I decided on a goofy looking squid and veered away from the realism inspired design. The Nautilus is designed to have a look of a whale and Captain Nemo is stylized with a Chibi type of quality. I took a playful approach in the color comps. I was leaning toward a warm color scheme but decided on a cool lighting with a magenta red range as the warmest hue.
My first attempt at a final piece was too forced, having a strong influence from Mike Mignola. I love Mignola's work and designing the shadow shapes show clarity but I really felt that this wasn't me. No matter what I did, I couldn't keep the drawing from feeling like an amateur Hellboy cover. I scrapped it soon after doing the color comps.
I sketched many ideas just doodling in my sketchbook. After a few, I drew over and more iterations digitally. My main issue was keeping away from the center driven composition. The comps that drew me flowed from a top corner into a bottom corner, keeping aware of silhouette reads and utilizing the tentacles to move the eye.