only technically accurate but those elements of mystery and wonder which
are stimulating to the imagination..poetically luminous"-Arthur C. Clarke
"so remarkable in both its conception and execution"-Wernher Von Braun
"splendid astronomical and space art.. It's terrific!"- Dr Carl Sagan
David came to the school in September 1947 and left in July 1952.
In response to an email in early 2003, David wrote: "While I was at
KNGS I was encouraged by two masters,
Mr Pickering (known as Percy, though I've no idea of his real first name!), who taught me Chemistry, in which I came 1st on occasion, and Mr Welburn, Art, at which I also did quite well, though I didn't really 'shine' until I discovered poster paints.
I remember, in 1951, showing him a book called THE CONQUEST OF SPACE, which I'd found in Stirchley Library, with highly photographic paintings by US artist Chesley Bonestell (I showed his work on THE SKY AT NIGHT on 2nd
February 2003). Even Mr Welburn didn't quite believe they were paintings, but he told me that if I wanted to do something like that, I'd just have to work at it. I guess I did. You weren't supposed to like both Art _and_ Science, but I did. Mr Hindle (Biology), who doubled as Careers Master in those days, recommended a career in science, saying that there's no money in Art (how right he was, unless you're a Damien Hirst!)"
When David left school he worked in a laboratory. Two years later, at the age of 18, he was asked to illustrate SUNS, MYTHS AND MEN by Patrick Moore.
"I had five days to produce eight illustrations (I used scraper-board) before joining the RAF for National Service. During that I worked on the illustrations for a book with Patrick to be called CHALLENGE OF THE STARS, which failed to find a publisher at the time, but a book with that title was published in 1972"
In 1956 David got a job as an illustrator in the Design Office at Cadbury's where he was
"literally painting chocolate boxes" while learning his trade. After 9 years' service, and after being asked to work on the film '2001', he left to become a freelance artist specialising in space art and science fiction, from which he has earned international acclaim.
David has illustrated hundreds of books and magazines, produced backgrounds for stage productions at the London Palladium, illustrations for TV series including 'The Sky at Night', 'Tomorrow's World' and 'Cosmos' as well as movies, including 'The Neverending
Story.' He has visited Iceland, Hawaii, Chile and the Galapagos Islands for referencing material for his work
In September 1996, David became President of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), which has well over 120 members world-wide. His term ended in June 2000, but he's now the European Vice President. In December 2001 he was presented with the 'Lucien Rudaux Memorial Award' for service to space art.
David and Sir Patrick "are currently working on a much updated version of that, now that humans have actually visited (usually by robot proxy) nearly all of the worlds we then envisioned. When published, in 2004, it will thus be 50 years since our first
collaboration! (Which I don't believe for a moment.)"
magnificent website, which includes examples of his work can be found at www.astroart.org