I’ve painted book covers for Karl Gallagher before–his Torchship trilogy. (In fact, Karl was my first cover painting client!) He again commissioned me to paint a cover for the first book of a new trilogy. He wanted to try a new tack this time, and asked for the spaceship he’d designed flying through pastel clouds in hyperspace while lightning danced through the clouds.
He provided me with a 3D model of his ship, and after I painted the clouds, I rendered the ship with reflective surfaces in order to capture the color reflections, then overpainted it to soften the render.