Acrylic on Illustration Board - 30" x 20"
When the legendary publisher Judy-Lynn del Rey asked Michael to do this cover to the sequel to 2001 by Arthur C. Clarke she said, "What we're looking for here is a 'big book look'." Michael knew what she really meant was "mainstream bestseller" look.
The book and the movie by Stanley Kubrick are all-time favorites of his so Michael felt the pressure even more. He did 10 preliminary roughs or comps (unlike his customary 2-4) and agonized over using his airbrush almost exclusively to achieve that diffuse, soft-edged quality. It was worth it—the publisher was thrilled with the result and even the artist was pleased!