Acrylic - 29" x 19"
This is the only cover painting done for Del Rey Books in which I was “art-directed” into doing something I did not want to do.
On the odd occasion that Don Munson, the del Reys, and I had a detailed discussion about a cover, I came away feeling that they had pulled out of me not only the best image for selling the book, but also an image that I was happy to do because it communicated something that I felt was important.
This one went against my grain: it gave away the mystery of what the aliens looked like; there was no indication that the creature was an alien (it looked more like a mutant elephant on a rampage); although much was made in the story of the aliens being herdbeasts, this creature was alone.
Nevertheless, the characterizations of the aliens were engaging enough to interest me in doing a virtual portrait of one of them. In fact, the most enjoyable thing about doing this painting was detailing the texture of the alien's skin.
Though I am satisfied with the resulting painting as a book cover, I plan to “finish” it when it's returned to me adding mushroom clouds, contrails, brilliant though tiny specks in the sky, and burning buildings in the far distance.