Okay, I then decided earth was too distracting at this point and just painted it out as I finished Jupiter. I also moved Io away from the center and over onto Jupiter's bright side. Nothing destroys a piece of artwork like something *dead center*. Europa is to the left of that. That happens-your original idea always changes as you move along. This is why I don't do tight sketches, because what looks good small can be not so good, large. It also works for sponaneity. I added in the "starstuff" inside the monolith with a palette knife and basically rubbing paint on in layers. The stars were added in with a toothbrush-spattering paint on.
I now start paying attention to the astronaut. I'm using my "Malstick" which is what oil painters use to rest their hand on whilst working on the painting. I also paint upright-better for my back I find. My "Malstick" is not some fancy thing either. It's an old pool table cue stick. Works a charm and found in my Mom's basement.
The astronaut was the last thing I worked on and here, we're looking more finished. In the upper left you can see the dark side of Ganymede which I used as a "curtain" element to help with the "V" composition that holds the painting together.
Basically, done. I picked at it abit and added a blue backlit color to the astronaut because I needed him to stand out from the black. I'm not a rocket scientist, in fact my math(I'm not even sure what algebra is, and I need a calculator for adding anything up!) and science averages about a "C" or a low "B" so science was not my priority as much as drama was. In fact it's earth's moon the monolith is on, I just had to incorporate more elements from the saga into the piece AND finish it ON TIME(which I did) and make it work as a doublespread.
Anyway, hope this gives some insight into how I work.