I recently illustrated the cover of a special insert that SLJ publishes with their magazine. The concept was book series that schools use, in their libraries for instance. The art director, Mark Tuchman, wanted a space theme and since I like drawing astronauts, I had no problem with that.
First up is the original thumbnail of the image. This was one of those rare gigs where one is enough. Often I send a few sketch ideas, but in this case I didn't need to.
The sketch gets tightened up if SLJ likes it, which they did.
I like to place it in the layout to see how it works. It was especially important in this case since the cover has that odd drop-down title.
After the sketch is approved, I ink up the final art and scan it in.
Then color is added in Photoshop and it's done.
Once I sent the art to Mark, he placed it in a layout and worked on the color for the additional parts of the cover. This is pretty close to how it looked printed.
And lastly, they liked the image so much that they ended up asking for an additional astronaut for the interior as well.