New Scientist Christmas/New Year Cover 2012
Illustration of hedgehog outside a flea circus
After the success of the last New Scientist commission, a whole year had passed until I received the call to do the Hive Brain illustration spread. I was equally surprised when less than a month later I received another call to repeat my work for the cover of the Christmas/New Year edition.
Craig Mackie, art director at New Scientist, set a brief that was basically to give humour to the article about fleas used in medical research. To avoid having a flea on the cover, it was proposed that a hedgehog would stand there, as these creatures are used to harvest them. To make it a little lighter and more entertaining, the concept was to make the hedgehog a ring master for the circus and to have a small tent in place for the fleas.
This project description is a record of a little bit of the process and some stages of the final rendering.
The work was initially done in pencil, on A3 layout paper and then, after scanning, was painted in Photoshop on about 60+ layers.