Here are some roughs along with the final image of the Palace Hotel illustration. I based the image off of the short story Palace Hotel by Robt McLees because I was intrigued to find Master Chief crossing paths with Lieutenant Parisa (a childhood friend),who reveals an image of both of them from when they were kids. Parisa thought John (Master Chief) died shortly after the picture was taken and keeps the image as a charm. The Chief, against his feelings, decides not to reveal his identity (for a number of reasons) even though Parisa might die in the coming battle with a giant Covenant Scarab.
Originally I wanted the Chief looking at the picture or at Parisa to establish that personal connection. In the end I chose to make him look away because of his decision not to give in to his emotions, but maybe, just maybe he is still glancing behind that visor of his. It was a fun contest and I'm glad I was able to contribute.