I actually had a lot of fun working on this. Shimakaze (from Kancolle) is a pretty iconic design. She looks like a cross between Babydoll from Suckerpunch and a bunny girl. I've seen A LOT of Shimakaze fan art and what irks me that she's just portrayed mostly as a loli-sexy fetish object. The concept of loli-sexy scares me and I also wanted to portray her as something beyond a fetish.
Shimakaze is the name of a Japanese WW2 destroyer battleship. Apparently only 1 was made and she was one of the fastest warships ever made during that time. I wanted to give Shimakaze the character, a more badass element and thought it'd look pretty darn cool if she was surfing. Surfer chics are cool yeah? So I made her older, put her on a surfboard, added some waves and the little turret mascots that she has.
I'd say one of the trickiest things about this piece is actually the positioning of her left arm because of foreshortening. I had to do that army many times, I hope I got it right now.
Painting the waves was kind of fun and also an interesting challenge because there's so much stuff to look out for when you're doing waves - spray, the colors, the shadows. I know it could be pushed further but for a first time painting waves from scratch looks kind of rad. Drawing the little mascot turrets was kind of cute too. I especially like the one getting caught up in the wave and freaking out.