My final submission is an animated version of my revised design. I am taking another skillshare class in animation, so . . . I thought, might as well animate this dynamic scene!
Here is a revised version made after receiving Rick's feedback. He was right that I needed to experiment with the color palette. I chose more moody colors that fit this violent situation rather than the previous bright primaries.
I also added more texture with waves at the bottom level and slanting rain in the upper half. I tried to bring storytelling into the composition as well by making the lower part with the snake be contained and controlled, while the upper part with the god is bursting out of the frame in billowing clouds.
I took up Rick's challenge of sketching something in my environment. There are three little brass idols of Hindu gods that I have in the room, so first I sketched one of them. Then I traced over it in Illustrator, using layers for different parts of the composition. I still have to work on adding details and some more shapes-- like sun, clouds, flying birds, fish, etc. --but it's going well, and I am excited to see how it will turn out!