Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine issue 51 has been released! Here is the official announcement: ASIM 51: Our first quarterly issue.

For those interested in such details, here is a quick glimpse of the process of doing the cover, based on (the talented, lovely and award-winning) Thoraiya Dyer‘s “The Birds, the Bees, and Thylacine”.

Simon, the editor, had asked me for something evocative of illustrations from early/mid-20th century children’s books.

This is the thumbnail sketch from which I originally planned to work (usually my thumbnail sketches look a little neater):

I had my heart set on that thumbnail, with its (I thought) rather neat circular composition, and the framing of the man and the thylacine (Tasmanian tiger), but it wouldn’t come together. I redid it and redrew it and looked for more reference and wished I had a man to pose and finally had a minor meltdown, sat down and did two small pen and ink pictures, one of which became the final.

Here is the cover in progress (you can see it larger by clicking on the picture and going through to its Flickr page):

ASIM 51 - Cover Process

That is the original pen and ink drawing at the top left, as I scanned it in. I layered it with a scan of an old page (from Janet’s Winter in Quebec, I think) and put in the shadows. Then I added further layers of fairly soft colour. The list of contributors would cover the tiger, but that was deliberate – a lot of Thoraiya’s story is about vanishing.

I also coloured the other pen sketch, which I posted back in April: This is not the cover you are looking for. It was much brighter.

I’ll put up another post soon with thoughts on drawing the internal black and white illustrations.