during the research I was struck by a photo of a man embracing a woman (and a similar one of a man embracing a child) thinking there was an interesting relationships in the way the shapes seemed to compliment each other. this became the central idea for where the sketch was heading.
the sketches didn't look right as the man didn't seem like he can carry his own weight, I had to go back to small thumbnails and rethink the composition. from there I developed a second larger sketch and then extended it's height and turned the man in the lower left corner away from us so his face don't become another source distracting our attention.
I went through a few different color combos, starting with blue and gray and moving from there to this, trying to keep the 'disaster' atmosphere present but not overbearing.