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Space Dragon!

On May 30th 2020 Nasa and SpaceX launched astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station on a test flight mission called Demo-2. It was the first launch from America since 2011.

I watched the event live on Youtube (unfortunately not from the Kennedy Space Centre). You can check out NASA’s Youtube channel or SpaceX’s channel to go back and watch the event, as well as their arrival back on August 2nd 2020, and the many other events going on!

The launch served as inspiration to create a concept piece, commemorating the occasion while also providing a welcome distraction during the lockdown. The concept aimed to cleverly intertwine the name of the shuttle that ferried the astronauts to the ISS - Dragon - with the dual themes of 'rocket science' and 'science fiction/fantasy.'

I began researching the SpaceX shuttle Dragon, and gathered reference pictures to sketch a basic outline of the spacecraft. I kept the drawing of the shuttle true to the source material, whilst allowing for a more creative approach to the “space dragon”.

Structuring the composition took some time. I wanted the dragon to have the look of movement and be encompassing the shuttle, but often this resulted in losing the shuttle in the arrangement. Eventually, after much tweaking, I got the composition to a point I was happy with; the shuttle moving along as the dragon glides around it, almost in a way that guides the spacecraft on it’s journey.

Once I had the composition finalised, I tidied up the vector drawing and added in the details.

Finally, I could start adding in colour! I made the background a deep blue, while the shuttle is a contrasting white with grey and black detail. For the dragon, I wanted to represent NASA, and picked out the colours of the NASA logo.

After finalising colours and adding shading and highlights, I revisited the background. I added a minimalistic style Earth across the bottom of the picture, and a soft glow which picks up the highlights on the dragon’s body. Finally I peppered stars across the image to finish the piece off.

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