This is the cover for the May issue of Intergalactic Medicine Show. It's based on the issue's cover story "Gemma Barrows Comes to Cooperstown" by Jamie Todd Rubin. "Gemma" is a touching story about one of the greatest pitchers of the 25th century, a woman who made her way to baseball immortality through grit and determination. When the story opens, Gemma has already passed away so there is no detailed description of the character. This left it wide open for me to do something I rarely ever see. There was also a cool part of the story that referenced playing baseball in artificial gravity. I'm a huge Babylon 5 fan and all I kept thinking is how fun it would be to paint a baseball field on a rotating station! That excitement resulted in the design of a stadium within a Syd Mead inspired space station. SO. MUCH. FUN.
After doing a few dark moody paintings recently it was a fun change to attempt a predominantly bright yellow illustration and make the environment feel massive in scale yet not compete or distract from the focal point. Once I knew that the figure would be a black woman it was easy at that point to make sure the background had enough color and value contrast to allow her to pop. I also made sure most of the compositional lines all flowed into her.
I chose to add a bit of symbolism to the painting in the form of halo lighting above her head. This alludes to the main character being deceased and also how fondly and lovingly she is remembered by all that knew her.
|process video of the head painting|
|Rough color block in over original unfinished line art|