My Unsettling Sci-Fi/Fantasy Art for A Claustrophobic Sci-Fi Story in Metaphorosis Magazine

I enjoyed painting the cover for the December 2017 issue of Metaphorosis Magazine, a sci-fi/fantasy fiction magazine, so I hoped to work on another cover.  I didn't know I'd get the opportunity again so quickly, like the following month's issue, January 2018.  I'd like to think they loved how well the last cover turned out and that's why they came knocking on my door again.  It makes it sound more flattering that way.

 The 1st thumbnail sketch for the January 2018 cover of Metaphorosis.

The 1st thumbnail sketch for the January 2018 cover of Metaphorosis.

But the truth is that the other cover artist that they had set up for January had to bow out so they asked me to fill in.  I stepped up to the plate, ready to swing my bat again and win another one for the team.........wait a minute.........I'm an artist.......what's with the sports analogies?......errrr.......I mean I sat down to my art desk and took out my sketchbook and paints, ready to paint my heart out again.

 The final drawing for the painting.

The final drawing for the painting.

The story I was to illustrate for the cover was a cramped, tense, psychological, sci-fi story called, "Jewel/Gem Offer".  It's about an estranged mother who travels across the universe to bring her grown daughter a plant-weapon.  I wanted to instill all those disturbing feelings in the story into my painting, so it needed to feel unsettling and claustrophobic.

 The work in progress of the painting.

The work in progress of the painting.

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As usual, I worried and fretted as I painted, hoping it was good and that my editor would approve it.  Was I getting the characters right?  Did my illustration reflect the story's intent?  Would it create curiosity and excitement for the January issue?

 The final cover that was too orange for my editor.

The final cover that was too orange for my editor.

When I turned in the final painting to my editor, he said he liked it, but it needed more of a color range for the background.  He wasn't too fond of the orange.  I went back to the original thumbnail sketch that I submitted to him.  It did have more color; reds, oranges and yellows.  

 The final cover with a more colorful background.

The final cover with a more colorful background.

Once I added them, he approved it and we were good to go.  Above, you can see how it looks with the magazine title and text.  Which cover did you like better?  I asked a couple friend if they liked the orange one or the colorful one better?  They couldn't agree.  Personally, I liked it simpler and just orange, but that's just me.

If you'd like to purchase this painting, click here.