I was able to read a bit of the the book Eon that the CG Challenge is based on, so I can start sketching on things. This is what the Orbital Transfer Vehicle looked like in my head as I was reading (as always, click to enlarge):
I'll be doing sketches for a while, since I have to read the whole book before I figure out what exactly I'm going to illustrate. Until then I'll just be drawing different things and scenes as I read, to get ideas down and grow my visual understanding of the "world" of the book. The final image for the contest is due mid-January, thankfully, so I've got plenty of time to work through the design process.
This will be the first of many, many pieces for the project.