This is a piece I did in my two exam-weeks together with some other mixed stuf (character designs, turnarounds, thumbnails, reference etc.). So the initial story behind the picture is the following:
"A team of two alien scientists returns after a thousand years of absence from their home world, to see their planet having radically changed since the flood of chemicals and ice overwhelmed the planet, making everyone leave it. Perhaps the changed ecosystem is not the only surprise waiting for them on their journey?"
I basicly digged really deep into world-building, and researching into a lot of various areas, like glaciology, biology, figuring out which plants can grow in the arctic and lots of other stuff. It's probably been the most interesting experience with world building and reference I've ever had. You can see the madness-map I ended up having created here:
I plan to do several pictures w. various things for this universe, like creaturedesigns, propdesigns, more keyshots, finalized character designs and such.