I have done a preliminary sketch of the composition.
This illustration has has a feature: need to show Toto in the foreground so that will work, and William partly due to vertical format of illustration. Also I am waiting your notes regarding the bird man.
OK - This is the trouble with English. Everything has 22 meanings. I understand your vision of the crown. Here is the definition I was considering...basically a smooth crow head of feathers...
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Crown.
A red-crowned crane
The crown is the top of the head, or the whole head.
* 4See also
Crown can mean the top of the head and it can also mean the whole head. In the study of human anatomy the terms "Calvaria, "skullcap", "skull cap", or the "roof of the cranial cavity" are used for the top part of the head.
In bird anatomy, the crown is the top of the head, or more specifically the zone from the frons, or forehead, extending posteriorally to the occiput and laterally on both sides to the temples. The upper part of the head, including frons, crown and occiput, is sometimes called the pileum.
So...here are some images of crows...
If you keep the following concept in mind, perhaps designing will be easier...My surprise continued when what I had mistaken for her shawl and his cap turned out to be crowns of short feathers that had replaced the hair of their heads. The reality before us was one of twixt and between; two old people had become part bird or two birds had become part old people.
We want Characters that are both. Bird man is much more bird than human.
We want the parts of them that are bird to look like a crow or raven, not like a person in a feather suit.
Feathers should look natural like they would on a real bird.
His head should look like a crows head...give him some ears and/or a beard. His face features is probably fine. Perhaps his chin and nose could be slightly elongated, but not as extreme as your drawing...Leave the neck or parts of it human. Remember half and half...
In the bird shape, perhaps some tail feathers coming out of their butts. butts could be human.
I described their arms and legs as human and guant and dark. My screw up - gaunt is the opposite of dark. So if they are gaunt they will stand out aga the black feathers.
The description references because their human parts, their arms, and legs were gaunt and dark
The shape of their bodies should be somewhat bird like.
Some of the suggestions above are only suggestions to give you some ideas of how to get to half and half.