Clear photo reference is essential to achieving a good likeness - The victim’s face from several angles and different expressions, plus I’ll ask for at least one full body shot. You’re after an overall gestalt, personality conveyed through posture and build as much as facial features.
Pencil roughs are done quickly. Attention paid to the pose, dynamic action and a nice silhouette.
Keep it as loose as possible - It’ll tighten up with lighting and color considerations - so best to start from something clean and strong.
Bold graphic lines really help bind the figure together and I’ll try to preserve at least some of those quick gestural strokes from my initial rough all the way through.