Here’s the thumbnail sketch for the opening spread of Henry & the Crazed Chicken Pirates. Like in a movie, this establishing shot offers a broad swathe of visual information that tells the reader where the story takes place. The crew of the Salty Carrot frolics in a tropical lagoon where their dear old barky is moored.
The art director asked that the image be flopped—the ship should face right instead of left. I begin tracing the ship drawing on a piece of translucent paper through which you can see the layout with the enlarged thumbnail.
Ships are complicated things to draw. I trace the scene at least one more time.
I like to place something like foliage in the foreground, so the reader has the sensation of looking through one plane to see another. To make this scene truly idyllic, I added a waterfall in the background.