After the initial commission last year, from New Scientist, there was a thought that this would be a one off situation. I was very happy and surprised that on the anniversary week of getting the Christmas cover 2011 from New Scientist that an email in my inbox offered me the chance to do a new commission for the popular magazine. This time it was an inside illustration for one of the articles. The theme was to be the discovery of how clever bees are, from first understanding of their species.
As always I was given an initial brief and idea plan for the piece. Because they loved the previous illustration of the tortoise in the armchair, the plan was to do the same basic layout against the textured white background. The concept being an academic bee that was wearing all the costume and finery of a graduate. I also suggested that there was a tossed miter board and he was holding a scroll.
The animated gif (shown above) indicates the basic steps taken to complete the project. From a very crude initial sketch through to the final painted render. The project was delivered, and a week later I was doubly surprised to find a second email in my inbox from New Scientist creative director asking me to do this years Christmas cover. Something must be going right!!