The folks who commissioned the piece have been beyond patient and very gracious to allow me to share my process, which I haven't really been able to do on my last several posters. So, here goes nothing...
First, I watched the movie a couple of times while I finished up a coloring gig(Revival #5, if you must know) and getting over a nasty cold. The initial idea was to show the colony being approached by the drop ship... makes sense given that the only print I had out at the time was this:
So, I went ahead and did a sketch for that initial idea. The sketch is the basis for the entire composition and the final print doesn't wind up straying very far from it, so it take me quite awhile to get something I'm satisfied with. It's not just a quick doodle, there's a lot of time and thought that goes into it (you will most likely have to click on it to see anything):
While I was watching the movie, I felt like the xenomorph queen's lair would also make for a cool poster... as well as just being more fun to draw. After approaching the group with that idea, they seemed to dig it, so I went ahead and did another sketch:
So, it's up to them to decide now. Once I get the go ahead on one or the other, I'll do a quick value study in photoshop and start assembling elements for the final product. I'm looking forward to sharing the whole process here, even though it'll be something that I won't ever be producing or selling... also, private commissions are not something I plan on doing on a regular basis, so please don't ask :)