More randomness. I believe my thoughts went something along the lines of "Flying whales are neat. Flying mecha whales are even neater. Though a flying mecha whale on its own is a little dull. Clearly there needs to be mecha goldfishes too."
I did the sketch, then decided that the goldfish would be really fun to model in 3D (I've been doing a few 3D projects lately, for practice). It took a full day to model and texture, but hey, it was fun and I learned a lot in the process.
The whale and riders were painted, and the goldfish needed a fair amount of painting-over to make them fit the environment.
Time: 3D - 7 hours
Painting - 5 hours
Tools: Maya, Photoshop CS3, Wacom Intuos Tablet