Previously, I posted a crude thumbnail, my first attempt at composition. Here I start developing the character design. I'm also paying attention to the character interaction; these guys are happily singing barbershop but I also want to hint at what might happen after the song ends.
Hence the mantis eyeing the fly, the frog the mantis, the snake the frog and the hawk the snake.
I'm creating this illustration for the upcoming NESCBWI conference poster competition. The theme of the competition is "Many Voices." My first idea was a doo-wop group of singing frogs (inspired by the musical Forever Plaid). That idea morphed to include a fly lead singer. I then came up with the circle of life angle that dovetails nicely with one of my favorite books as a kid, A Fly Went By.