In the 70's and 80's one of my favorite SF Illustrators was Peter Elson, his work had come to my attention mainly through the TTA - Terran Trade Authority books, a collection of four large illustrated science fiction books published between 1978 and 1980. He had a real eye for design and use of colour in spaceships that movies or TV would never attempt, his ships often had colourful markings and logo's, and I much preferred his work to that of the other big 70's SF artist Chris Foss.The Spacecraft from the PC game Homeworld was heavily influenced by Elson's illustrations.
Peter Elson died in 1998 in Skegness whilst he was painting a mural for Butlins
I'd love to know what exactly the mural was ?! Seems a bit odd for an SF artist but I suppose he was just a jobbing artist too. The story is that most of his original work is now owned by his sister.
The four TTA books were:
Spacecraft 2000-2100 AD (by Stewart Cowley, 1978)
Great Space Battles (by Stewart Cowley and Charles Herridge, 1979)
SpaceWreck: Ghost Ships and Derelicts of Space (by Stewart Cowley, 1979)
Starliners: Commercial Travel in 2200 AD (by Stewart Cowley, 1980)
The books also featured the work of many other well known SF artsits such as Jim Burns, Chris Moore and Fred Gambino.
His work also featured in a similar collection of books
Space Wars: Worlds and Weapons (1979)
and the Galactic Encounters Series
Star Quest (1979)
Aliens in Space (1979)
The Fantastic Planet (1980)
Dangerous Frontiers (1980)
Space Patrol (1980)
Worlds at War (1980)
I wish someone would do a collection just of Peter Elson's work in one definitive book.