Do you have a soft spot for Sci Fi? If the thought of exotic looking futuristic fighter jets, mammoth battleships the size of cities, and huge space stations gets you excited, grab your Wookie wing man and strap yourselves in.
You’ve come to the right place.
Below you will find some of the coolest spaceship concept art by some of the internet’s most talented artists.
Wondering where to start with your spacecraft designs? I have also included some tips and videos for creating your own spaceships and developing your ideas.
Spaceship Fighter Concept Art
It is very common for futuristic space fighters to look like exotic versions of modern day fighter jets. The wing shape is often different in it’s shape and size, but it still resembles our basic understanding of aircraft.
However, in reality, there is no need for wings in outer space (unless your space craft is used for in atmosphere and out of atmosphere space combat).
This can open up a whole realm of possible designs for you to explore. What shape could it be? Where would the thruster would go? How would the retro-rockets be mounted?
Here are some great concepts to inspire you.
Space Cruiser Concept Art
Cruisers are larger military space craft that often play a similar role to our modern warships. They are well armed and have reasonable defenses.
Cruisers tend to specialize in certain roles. This would likely be the case for science fiction. Is your cruiser designed to take out planetary ground defenses? Or does it specialize in clearing space-mines? What would it look like if it was designed to take out enemy fighters?
Check out these impressive concepts.
In a futuristic setting cargo ships would often be the lifeline of many human colonies. These vessels carry goods from one planet to another.
Currently, there are thousands of freighters traversing the sea. You can imagine it would be the same in a futuristic space setting.
Freighters would be designed specifically for the task of carrying a large payload over long distances. They would come well equipped and unload their cargo.
Often they are large ships, for the sole purpose of moving things in bulk. They can often dwarf many of the largest warships.
Cool Spaceship Frigates
These warships are built to be quick and manoeuvrable. Often they are escorts for larger ships and convoys.
Frigates are a little bit larger than corvettes and often have more firepower. They are often good for getting into combat, getting their hands dirty, and getting out victories.
They are often used in patrols, or as protection for a capital ship. They often have strength in numbers.
Space Destroyer Concepts
Destroyers are smaller than cruisers and, in most cases, are larger than frigates.
However, you will find that these bad-boys are armed to the teeth with a multitude of weapons.
Their purpose is to seek and destroy. These boats act as escorts for larger fleets and hunt out any threat.
Sci Fi Battleship Designs
Battleships are the epitome of strength. They can take a lot of punishment and dish out punishment in return.
Battleships are characterized by their heavy armor and massive guns, making them key capital ships. These guys will have multiple different defenses, and guns that could destroy most ships in a single go. They represent the might and power of a fleet.
The simple existence of a battleship can leave opposition quivering in their boots. However, despite their strength, they can be susceptible to smaller aircraft that could out manoeuvre them.
How To Draw Convincing Spaceship Designs
There is so much rich detail in these spacecraft! So what can you focus on to improve your spaceship drawing skills?
Perspective is important in any art form, however, with mechanical objects such as spacecraft, perspective is key to creating believable illustrations.
If you are completely new to perspective, Draw A Box has an excellent guide to understanding and mastering perspective drawing.
If you are looking for something a little more advanced, ‘How To Draw’ By Scott Robertson is my ‘go-to’ book. When it comes to illustration, design, and mechanical objects, Scott is a master.
His book is well laid out and well explained. He also has some great Youtube videos that take you through design concepts and gives you a feel for how he creates his pieces.
Create A Visual Library
Have you come across an interesting or cool piece of technology? If so, take a photo and save it in a folder. This folder will be your go-to resource.
By building up your visual library, you will develop an idea for how these objects look and feel. It could be something small in your home or a picture of modern-day military aircraft. By practicing and drawing these designs and objects continuously, you will develop a natural feel for how a mechanical object may look and function.
The key is to draw these objects. Pull up a photo and spend 30 minutes understanding the shape and how it functions. Recreate it, and play with the look and feel of an object
Creating a visual library won’t happen overnight. It will take time. However, continuously searching, drawing and recreating these shapes will give you the skills necessary to create believable compositions.
Play With ‘Layering’
A useful method to build your spaceship designs is to think of each vehicle being made up of layers.
Everything you design will have a ‘skeleton’; A basic shape and design that everything will sit on. Create that first.
Just like with figure drawing, you want to figure out the basic shape of the body, before you start to flesh out details of the anatomy.
This concept applies to spaceship design. What is the basic shape of the spacecraft? Where will the thrusters go? Will it have wings? Figure out these things first.
The next step is to add the functional details like the pistons, cables, guns and other details. These are the things that sit on top of the structure.
Next is to add the armor plating. Think of plating as the skin over everything else. Where would the armor be? How would things move? What would remain rigid?
Here is a good video to start you off. Sycra, walks you through how he comes up with the general shape, before picking out the details.
What did you think of these awesome designs? What inspires you when designing your space ship concepts?