I was very excited to get the call from National Geographic for this project, (or any Nat Geo project for that matter), but this one was particularly cool! A chance to illustrate the discovery of a new species of hominid, Homo Naledi, along with the possibility that this paleontological site could be the first found instance of ritualistic burial... lots to be happy about! The above image is my version of how this scene might have looked, It can be found in the October 2015 issue of National Geographic. The images below are some of the unused sketches for the project as well as the 3d reference I made to help visualize the scene.
Also in this article (on the cover of the magazine too) is an amazing head reconstruction of H. Naledi by John Gurche as well as a beautiful interior illustration that compares H. Naledi to other hominids in size and anatomy.