I’m captivated by the contrast of the the dark background with the sense of empowerment you are giving the individual as an integral part of society. It is an emergence of one soul from the concealment of the masses.
This encourages not only sympathy from the viewer, but also a connection to the subject. There is a common struggle in the mutual desire to be seen.
Is it difficult to imagine what the negative of your original sketch will look like? Do you start the drawing with the positive and negative / light and dark distribution of the end product in mind? Your other pieces have more white space. How intentional was the darkness in this piece at the start of your project? If deliberate, what was your reasoning for keeping it dark?