This illustration was created for Discover magazine and was to accompany an article about how the medical use of marijuana might help people manage physical conditions, rather than psychological ones. I was given a free hand with the interpretation of the image with the stipulation that a marijuana leaf should be included as it would provide a quick visual 'read' for the piece.
I was aiming to create strong representational image that would compliment the title of the article and knew that I wanted a figurative pose that would be arching in some way as a reaction to the pain. The first sketch, left, was well received but because I'd got so caught up in the figure drawing I'd overlooked the fact that I had not highlighted the neck area. I revised it by bringing the head right forward while keeping the figure position the same. The pain referred to is essentially nerve pain so I was able to include the nervous system while relating it colour-wise to the healing powers of the green leaf.
Here are a few of the initial thumbnails where I was looking to find the best pose for the figure.