#1  
Old 26-09-2010, 11:28 PM
michaellxv's Avatar
michaellxv (Michael)
Registered User

michaellxv is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 1,577
Lightbulb Sketching tips

There has been a bit of interest in sketching techniques recently so thought I'd start a thread to collect the ideas in one place. Add your ideas here and we can all improve.

I've been doodling on bits of paper tonight and came up with the idea of using a cotton bud as a blending stick. Gives better control than your finger and creates a very soft nebulous result. After a lot of use it will be black enough to use on its own.

For finer work get some microbrushes. Use for painting fine details on models.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 27-09-2010, 11:16 AM
Paddy's Avatar
Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

Paddy is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Strangways, Vic
Posts: 2,206
Great idea for a thread, Michael. Maybe even a sticky.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 27-09-2010, 01:01 PM
pgc hunter's Avatar
pgc hunter
Registered User

pgc hunter is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Renmark, SA
Posts: 2,925
Never thought of trying a cotton bud. Great idea Micheal, thanks.

For smudging in fine, granular detail, or things like dust lanes in nebulae/galaxies, a mouldable putty eraser sounds like an easy way of doing it without messing up your work.

Does anyone have any ideas on the best type of pencils to smudge in things like nebulae and galaxies?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 28-09-2010, 12:13 AM
michaellxv's Avatar
michaellxv (Michael)
Registered User

michaellxv is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 1,577
I have used 2B HB 2H pencils and they all smudge differently and to different shades. I guess you could go the whole range with enough experience.

Another thought. Rub a cotton bud or similar on a charcoal stick and then apply that to the paper. Could produce some interesting results.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 28-09-2010, 09:38 PM
Suzy's Avatar
Suzy
Searching for Travolta...

Suzy is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Posts: 3,662
Thanks for posting this thread Michael.

Michael, I hope you don't mind me adding the link here to the original thread (Sept Obs. Challenge Thread), which also gave some great tips for sketching.
http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...t=65405&page=2
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 28-09-2010, 10:33 PM
Max Vondel's Avatar
Max Vondel (Peter)
Time Traveller

Max Vondel is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 261
Sketching the planets

Yes sketching is a real fun challange
Quite unlike all those CCD's Photometers etc.

I remember observing Mars for an hour or more
Just to catch some glimpses and slight improvement of detail.

Most of those drawings were from 20 years ago or more.
Preparing the correct planetary templates
And trying to add colours.
All hard, imprecise and great fun!

Best of all it's so cheap compared to imagers, DSLR's etc
Improves your vision and teaches you HOW to view.
It's all too easy today in some ways.....
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 28-09-2010, 11:07 PM
pgc hunter's Avatar
pgc hunter
Registered User

pgc hunter is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Renmark, SA
Posts: 2,925
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaellxv View Post
I have used 2B HB 2H pencils and they all smudge differently and to different shades. I guess you could go the whole range with enough experience.

Another thought. Rub a cotton bud or similar on a charcoal stick and then apply that to the paper. Could produce some interesting results.
The B pencils seem to be softer and create a darker shade while the H's are harder and create lighter shading.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 28-09-2010, 11:23 PM
michaellxv's Avatar
michaellxv (Michael)
Registered User

michaellxv is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 1,577
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgc hunter View Post
The B pencils seem to be softer and create a darker shade while the H's are harder and create lighter shading.
Spot on. For a full description see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pencil about half way down 'Grading and classification'.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 28-09-2010, 11:24 PM
michaellxv's Avatar
michaellxv (Michael)
Registered User

michaellxv is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 1,577
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
Michael, I hope you don't mind me adding the link here to the original thread (Sept Obs. Challenge Thread), which also gave some great tips for sketching.
http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...t=65405&page=2
Thanks Suzy, there's a couple of threads with good tips and I couldn't remember which ones.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-10-2010, 10:27 AM
Paddy's Avatar
Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

Paddy is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Strangways, Vic
Posts: 2,206
how do you sketch GCs

Ok, I'm finally getting the nerve to try sketching globular clusters. I have no problem imagining sketching fainter ones with no resolvable stars. Just shading. But does anyone have some tips for sketching the very close and complex ones? How do you approach something like M22, or even 47 Tuc or Omega Centauri? Through a 16" scope, these are just overwhelming.

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-10-2010, 12:17 PM
pgc hunter's Avatar
pgc hunter
Registered User

pgc hunter is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Renmark, SA
Posts: 2,925
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
Ok, I'm finally getting the nerve to try sketching globular clusters. I have no problem imagining sketching fainter ones with no resolvable stars. Just shading. But does anyone have some tips for sketching the very close and complex ones? How do you approach something like M22, or even 47 Tuc or Omega Centauri? Through a 16" scope, these are just overwhelming.

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.
I'm really interested in knowing this aswell. So far, the only object I havent sketches is a globular. I've seen some great glob sketches, but how does one fill in so many stars accurately?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-10-2010, 12:40 PM
mental4astro's Avatar
mental4astro (Alexander)
kids+wife+scopes=happyman

mental4astro is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: sydney, australia
Posts: 4,527
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
Ok, I'm finally getting the nerve to try sketching globular clusters. I have no problem imagining sketching fainter ones with no resolvable stars. Just shading. But does anyone have some tips for sketching the very close and complex ones? How do you approach something like M22, or even 47 Tuc or Omega Centauri? Through a 16" scope, these are just overwhelming.

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Said in his very best Irish accent:

"Good God, man! How many Guiness have you had this morning so far? Looks like one too many, and a Leprechaun has escaped into the belfry!"

The way I see it, in attempting something like a globular cluster, is the need for a good and constant scale, leaving the huge number of stars aside.

For this I have a couple of ideas:

1: locate three easily recognisable mini-patterns. Note these first as your reference points, and develop the drawing around them.

2: make yourself a reticle like I did (see pics & details below). This tool can assist with identifying the reference patterns and their scaled position. I used mine for the first time with the sketch I did of NGC 253 shown in the October Challenge.

But, one word of caution- unless you have a tracking mechanism on your scope, this reticle EP can drive you crazy trying to reposition the primary pattern back into position if you rely solely as your grid scale drawing method. Though I've only had one chance to use it so far, if your scope is only push-pull, I'd suggest this reticle idea only to find and position your reference "patterns". Attempting something like a GC will proove neigh impossible. Once you've got you reference pattern settled, change the reticle EP for your prefered visual EP, swapping to the reticle as needed to check on scale.

3: Start on a less populated GC to get your eye in.

4: Several nights viewing to complete the sketch patiently.

5: Use a medium to high power EP to limit the number of stars and reduce the confusion in relocating where you were. This doesnot need to be a complication once your scale has been set either.

I made the reticle EP using a cheap 2" eyepiece, here a GSO 2" SP 32mm ($49 from Andrews), and optic fibre fixed in place with epoxy glue and placed onto the field stop which is where the focus of the EP occurs. I might get a 2" barlow now to kick up the power for small objects, and do the same reticle pattern to a 25mm 1.25" EP as one scope I have only uses 1.25". I might also add another few fiber strands to make a finer set of grids.

The pictures show the reticle set on the field lens side, and a view through the EP.

It works so surprisingly well, and without any type of illumination.

A globular cluster, heh! Another challenge to tackle.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (grid field stop pattern 001.jpg)
51.9 KB73 views
Click for full-size image (grid field stop pattern 002.jpg)
49.0 KB70 views
Click for full-size image (grid field stop pattern 003.jpg)
194.9 KB67 views
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-10-2010, 12:44 PM
michaellxv's Avatar
michaellxv (Michael)
Registered User

michaellxv is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 1,577
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgc hunter View Post
I'm really interested in knowing this aswell. So far, the only object I havent sketches is a globular. I've seen some great glob sketches, but how does one fill in so many stars accurately?

I don't think you can. You couldn't get a pencil sharp enough to place them. I would try to aim for an overall impression of what you see.

Look back over you obs reports and what are the key features you descibe about a GC. These are the elements you should aim to reproduce.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-10-2010, 09:43 PM
Paddy's Avatar
Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

Paddy is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Strangways, Vic
Posts: 2,206
Thanks for your thoughts gentlemen. I was heartened by your comments about Guinness and little folk in the belfry, Alexander. It does seem an insane idea and I'm relieved that someone of your skill thinks so.

Sooo... I will follow both Michael's advice and yours and do some general impression sketches, experiment with a less complex GC, but still with some resolvable stars, take some time and perhaps make a reticle ep. And use modest magnification. 175X on 47 Tuc under dark skies with my scope would be a bit of a big ask.

I hope to get back to you with a satisfactory result at some time in the hopefully not too distant future.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 13-10-2010, 02:58 PM
jamespierce (James)
Registered User

jamespierce is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 240
I've fallen off the sketching wagon bait lately, but here are my tips and suggestions.

Get a copy of this book - http://www.amazon.com/Astronomical-S.../dp/0387262407

I have a box of 12 derwent drawing pencils but when you are just starting limiting yourself to a few pencils makes life easier. 4B, B and 2H is about right. It doesn't matter though if it's 3B or 2B and 4H etc. A B pencil is my standard goto pencil. I never grab more than 4 pencils for any one sketch in the field.

Get a blending stump or three (you can get away without cleaning them all the time if you use the same one for really soft black pencils, and keep one pretty clean for light smudging). Get a couple of different erasers, including a soft ball style one and an eraser shield - The eraser shield might be the most important thing you buy.

Get a decent pad of A5 drawing paper.

If you go to an art store all of 2,3 and 4 should cost you less than $40

Ok beyond the tools, techniques... The most important thing to practice is figuring out your reference points, and drawing those first. For the moon, big craters, and the key shadows. For star clusters the brightest ones. For nebula etc, the bright stars and basic shape. Once you get those down, you just keep refining, and refining sections of the sketch. Breaking it down makes it much less overwhealming.

PS: I've never been game to sketch Omega Centaurs, 47 Tuc or M42 etc ...
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 20-10-2010, 09:58 AM
Suzy's Avatar
Suzy
Searching for Travolta...

Suzy is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Posts: 3,662
James, that book looks a goody and a thanks for posting all those great tips . How about submitting some of your archived sketches - would love to see your work!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 20-10-2010, 12:06 PM
mental4astro's Avatar
mental4astro (Alexander)
kids+wife+scopes=happyman

mental4astro is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: sydney, australia
Posts: 4,527
Sketching a globular cluster! Check this out!!!

Hi all,

I did a google search for images of 47 Tuc, and I ran into this sketch!!! Bloody hell!!!

http://www.asod.info/?p=2315
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 20-10-2010, 12:25 PM
michaellxv's Avatar
michaellxv (Michael)
Registered User

michaellxv is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 1,577
That is an incredible sketch.


and the quote I love from the write up

Quote:
I do not think I will be doing NGC 104 again any time soon.
Too many stars!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 20-10-2010, 06:33 PM
Paddy's Avatar
Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

Paddy is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Strangways, Vic
Posts: 2,206
Very impressive indeed. So it can be done, with enormous skill and patience. And it would be absolutely overwhelming in a 22" scope.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 20-10-2010, 06:58 PM
pgc hunter's Avatar
pgc hunter
Registered User

pgc hunter is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Renmark, SA
Posts: 2,925
wow now that is what I'm talking about. How people do that is beyond me. Imagine the time and labour going into that, and in a dob nonetheless where you have to constantly manually re adjust .


My best effort to date is this, a sketch of NGC 3532 in an 8" dob.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (3532.jpg)
53.6 KB166 views
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 04:45 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
Lunatico Astronomical
Advertisement
OzScopes Authorised Dealer
Advertisement
Celestron Australia
Advertisement
Meade Australia
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
SkyWatcher Australia
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement