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Drawing with Apple Pencil – Star Trek Illustrations

My friend, Colin, has been writing amazing blogs about web development for years. Recently, he is writting a blog series, AWS Elastic Beanstalk survival guide. I am so glad to get a chance to draw the header illustrations for the series.

Mobile app development has become dominant within the enterprise digital solution. Software developers are keen to explore different platforms for application deployment and management. AWS Elastic Beanstalk, seems like an universe that awaits developers who plan to build MVP products with limited time and resources to explore. The blog series serves as a comprehensive survival guide that takes us to the journey. If I need to think of one visual metaphor to be the theme for the series... Yes, that'd be the USS Enterprise starship in Star Trek.

I redraw the movie scene with the apple pencil and Adobe Sketch app on iPad Pro. I didn't expect that the series of illustrations will take me almost two months to complete... I'll come back to explain this... For now, let's start looking at the first chapter :)

Chapter 1: Introduction

About this chapter: AWS Elastic Beanstalk (EBS) is complex and intimidating to a lot of people. But in actual, it’s not. So in this chapter, i go through what it is and why you should use it.

I thought to use the opening scene of Star Trek (2009) to be the first piece. Then it seems quite similar to the concept of chapter 3 which also has the USS Enterprise as the key object. So I illustrated the another scene from the movie, when James met the Old Spock who travelled from the future in the cave. This is one of the iconic scenes that plots out the junction of fate crossing the future and presence.


Taa-daa!~ 🍾 DONE for chapter 1.

It fits so well into the webpage and the article content. It's a grand opening of a story that someone is taking the courage to starting a journey of exploration.

Chapter 2: Getting started with fundamentals

About this chapter: EBS has its terminology and naming conventions. So before anything, we need to learn some basic concept.

The Star Trek tablet is another visionary product design concept introduced by the movie. Every Starfleet member would use this device to get fundamental information (e.g. mission details, medical report, destination records etc) before they onboard the ship and kick-off the mission.


I spent four nights to complete this chapter, mainly becase I’m bad in drawing hands 😛 ; and quite a long time was spent on combining the medical scanner tablet used by Doctor Bones from the original scene, with the closeup image of the Starfleet Tablet. I did try to find another scene that shows a close look of the tablet but failed, so the sketch needs such major modification. 🤔

Chapter 3: How to deploy

About this chapter: Straight forward guide to get your application deploy on the cloud.

So literally, it’s about the launch of USS Enterprise into the Cloud 🚀☁️.


Finally it’s done. But I think I dived too deep into the details and made it looking too realistic. It lost the texture of being as a hand-drawn illustration but more like a photo, so Colin suggested me to put a signature somewhere as a ‘quick fix’. It helps a little but yet not close to the style of the first chapter that what i’m looking at.

... Stay tuned for the other 4 illustrations 😄

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