Even though the story is called 'Iron John', the hairy wildman is not the main character of it. He obviously is important to the plot, however, the hero who's paths we follow throughout the whole story isn't him, but the prince, so he's more likely to be called the main protagonist. Because of his importance we decided to spend two weeks on designing him.
I started with these pencil sketches first. At the beginning I only planned on designing the prince from the point in the story, where he was a little boy living in the castle. However, as I went on creating more and more of these sketches I decided that it would be much more interesting to design him from before and then after he run off to the forest with Iron John.
In my final I wanted to focus on showing how life in the forest have changed him. For me the best way to do it was to play with contrasts. Being tired of wearing tight aristocratic garments that royal parents always required him to put on, now the prince wears loose-fitting, baggy clothes. Once playing with a ball, now he's more interested in sharp blades.
As it took me a bit less than two weeks to come up with this final I decided to spent rest of this time to refine my Iron John final, trying to emphasize the connection between these two characters.