Lucy Jain's Personal Blog

Artwork by Don Davis

The fellow member of the international Association of Astronomical Artists Don Davis has some of his artwork available to share in the public domain so I thought I would take advantage of sharing some amazing Space art with you. Feel free to share as he has assured me that both images and text are public domain. Don’s artwork is truely inspiring, the attention to detail really makes you feel as though you are looking at actual astronomical images. Please take the time to look through his website! Amazing artwork!!

A planetoid plows onto the primordial Earth, during the eons of time when conditions were ripe for the development of life. It is possible that life of kinds unknown to us appeared repeatedly only to be destroyed in collisions like this one which could ‘rework’ the entire surface. Fortunately the average size of debris declined sharply through geologic time, but the supply of wayward rocks a few kilometers in size is by no means exhausted. Of my hundreds of paintings this is the most widely seen example on the web, a fact aided by the public domain nature of the work!

The Viking Orbiter spacecraft releases the aeroshell clad lander near the ‘high point’ of it’s orbit around Mars. The planet is shown based on Mariner 9 photography, oriented as it should appear during separation. Oil on canvas panel for NASA Headquarters.

The Galileo Probe leaves the Orbiter some 180 days before the encounter. Here is the full 4K file. Digital painting for NASA Ames

On ABC’s ‘Nightline’ I heard a report Pioneer 10 would try to image the Sun among the stars as it crossed the orbit of Neptune. This turned out to be not true, and I resolved to create such a view. The sky is accurately portrayed and the Sun with its brighter planets are placed where they would be in relation to the background. The spacecraft is based on hardware photographs. Acrylic on board for NASA Ames.

A series of paintings were commissioned by Charles Kolhase of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) depicting highlights of each of the 4 Voyager outer planet encounters. Io and it’s volcanoes passes near Jupiter in a view actually seen by the spacecraft. Computer generated line drawings of the planets and stars were supplied to insure accuracy. Io is colored as it appeared in preliminary color balancing attempts, it is actually close to the color of powdered sulfur. Oil on illustration board for JPL

Voyager 2 at the moment of it’s closest approach to Saturn. The ring divisions were drawn on the board with a rapidograph pen before the paint coats were applied! Earth is the blue ‘star’ to the right of the Sun, below the Sun is crescent lit Titan. Oil on illustration board for JPL.

This painting was commissioned by JPL to commemorate the outer planets mission of the successful pair of Voyager spacecraft. Although done in traditional media, computer drawings were generated as an aid to creating perspective rings of the proper scale for each world, which also has one Moon each highlighted. Only distant shots of Neptune were available at the time the work was done, and the hypothetical ‘ring arcs’ are included as modeled from earth based star occultation data. Acrylic on board for NASA, JPL.


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