Floating in a sea of quiet

Floating in a sea of quiet - student project

The manatees are working out a lot better than my surfboards were!

Here's my first stab at getting a color palette and basic composition set up in Illustrator.

Floating in a sea of quiet - image 1 - student project

After putting my surfboard idea into Illustrator and playing around a bit, I realized that I wasn't getting the idea of "quiet" across at all.  I had gotten distracted by the allure of patterns and strayed away from the intent of this project.

I went back to the drawing board and this is what I came up with: 
Floating in a sea of quiet - image 2 - student project

Manatees!  Specifically, manatees hanging out and humming, because who ever heard of a manatee humming loudly?

I'm going to pick a few select colors, nothing crazy, but I'd like the manatees to have some texture.

I thought about a lot of different things when I was first brainstorming.  
Water was a consistent theme in my word webs, so I followed it first to spa, then bath, then ocean.  The idea of "bath" gave me some good sketches but they got boring really quickly.  I thought about calm water activities and the idea of surfing came floating up.  Not the act of surfing itself but the calmness of the water and the board.

After a few pages of sketches, I came up with the ones on the lower left page.

A group of surfboards, floating in the calm water.  Peaceful yet dynamic, I think.

(Please excuse the poor photo, my scanner just broke.)Floating in a sea of quiet - image 3 - student project