This is a great example of how an illustration can progress. I start out with a hand drawn mock-up, send it off to the client, and we can make adjustments before committing a concept to digital format.
In this original drawing, I went from my first interpretation of the new story of Huck Finn by Carson Cunningham. He falls through a crack in a glacier and becomes frozen for some time, only to reanimate in the 21st Century. He discovers he's good at football, becomes a fan of the Canadian Football League, and has a lot more travelling to do.
But not in that order.
Turned out Huck is not a quarterback in the story. And it's important that he's recognized in his original character form similar to original cover drawings of Huck Finn over time. So we went back to the drawing board.
Going big right away has its advantages--the hand-drawn display font was perfect for the modern story and vintage travel poster feel. Here is what we used to get back to Huck's roots and show that Huck is relevant today, even in modern contexts.
And the final draft...