Gregory Manchess started a new series based on their logo, affectionately called, Stubby the Rocket. I designed the rocket with Irene Gallo four years ago. Every year in honor of’s birthday, which just happens to be NASA’s moon-landing day, July 20th, a new story about Stubby’s adventures will be released. The first one was recently published, A Tall Tail, by Charles Stross.

Contrary to some of the other illustration struggles I’ve shown here, this painting went smooth and quick. I did one thumbnail to show Irene, and that was it. I did have rings around a Saturn-like planet, but on Irene’s request, I painted them out. It was a good call. A very subtle change, but without the ring tangency, it’s a stronger piece.

Below is a time lapse of me painting the little guy, flying through space. Throw in some planets, a nice background nebula, light everything with an offstage star-glow, sprinkle stars over it all, and Stubby came to life.

It’s not exactly….ahem….rocket science.