So, here are the steps taken to get where I wanted the design of Akut to be.
I started out experimenting with body shapes. I was happy with the face and think that I should have kept it skinnier, as shown here.

Originally, I was going to have Akut hanging from the war canoe, while making his way on board, but upon further investigation, these canoes didn’t seem to sit high in the water. They were big, just not high, like this. I did like the idea of him hanging, though.

I was satisfied with this layout and instead of inking right over the colored pencils, I did that with a projector, which the final version before coloring, is below.