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Old 24-02-2010, 02:59 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Some LMC, Arp sketches

Dear all,

A few more sketches - I've started drawing some of the LMC objects that I've made notes on and hope to do the lot. Part of NGC 2070 is very poorly represented in one sketch, only for reference. A representation of it that would look vaguely OK is well beyond my capacity at this stage. Other, simpler objects I"m happy with. A couple of Arps for good measure and one of Mars.

Thanks for looking and any feedback/advice.
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  #2  
Old 24-02-2010, 06:04 PM
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Dave47tuc (David)
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That's good work Patrick
Sketching is very much an art. I was never good at it. I know one person who is Sab

Yours are pretty good. I would try to tighten stars up a bit and smudge the nebula more. Keep it up thou as practice will amke you better.
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Old 24-02-2010, 06:36 PM
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orestis
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Nice sketches patrick,
were all these sketches made in the one night?

If so i'd say try and concentrate on one object for a while and try and grab as much detail as you can from it.

keep them coming
i love seeing astronomical sketches,
Orestis
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Old 24-02-2010, 07:42 PM
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Well done Patrick. As the others have suggested, try to render the stars with neater dots. The nebulae look pretty good. I used to sketch back in the 1980's and used to use a couple of fine tipped felt pens for stars and a soft pure graphite pencil for galaxies and nebulae. It's hard to do a finished sketch at the eyepiece without ruining your dark adaptation - red light or no red light. Plotting the field stars first accurately was always the first step. Larger dots for brighter stars. I found it was good for teaching how to observe better, but slow!!! Three or four objects a session. Almost discovered a supernova in one of the brighter galaxies one night (a week late as I later found out). I just compared the sketch with a photo. Ah, what's that extra star??? Every visual observer's dream. There is some excellent astronomical sketching advice on the net. Keep it up mate!!
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Old 24-02-2010, 08:08 PM
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Very nice sketches, you are flying along mate! Good to see more people participating in this now almost forgotten art.
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Old 24-02-2010, 11:23 PM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Nice sketching Paddy. Nothing like a bit a apeture!

You asked for suggestions. Have you tried doing an initial sketch in graphite pencil on white paper?

The reason I say this is white paper is available in much finer grades than the typical black papers. Also graphite pencils are available in many different hardnesses. This allows for a better selection of paper/pencil to suit your style of sketching. Some press harder on the pencil, others lighter, and the finer paper allows for much more delicate/finer detail to be produced.

You can later come back to the drawing and translate it onto black paper using white ink to give you the necessary 'punch' with stars.

This technique also allows you to make little notes relating star colours, graded fading of nebulosity, 'arc patterns' described by stars, etc, all to facilitate your later reworking.

To let you know, I use a 2B pencil and ordinary 80gsm copy paper. I find this grade of pencil soft enough for dim light of the red lamp, and the paper fine enough grade to give little 'roughness' in texture to the drawings.

Just a suggestion to help refine the detail.

Of course, if the reason for your sketching is to register the 'moment' at the eyepiece, you can still do the original drawing with a graphite pencil and then scan the image an invert the scan to a negative.

I've posted a couple of mine to show you, Jewel Box, M42 and Eta Carina, from my Celestron C5 from a few years back, so not as detailed or bright as with larger apetures. I've included a bit of a doodle from as I worked out how to use the white ink.

These sketches were reworks of the graphite drawings I did on the night. The info was there in a media I was familiar with, and then could take my time with a media I was less familiar with. You can still see the texture of the black paper influencing the drawing, but I've got a little more control in the light of the day.

Oh, and another bonus of useing graphite- YOU CAN RUB IT OUT.

Just a suggestion.

Mental.
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Old 25-02-2010, 10:49 AM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Thanks all for your responses. I do need to practice getting these stars better - I was convinced I was doing better with it until I got to look at them under the light. Practice, practice. I did these over two nights and agree that 3 a night is probably a good limit at this stage. I've been doing the LMC ones at lower power (135x) to show how they all fit together. I have a ridiculous long term fantasy of describing and drawing every cluster in the cloud, and maybe stitching them together in a mosaic. Might never get there, but it will keep me busy for some years. Will need better computer skills as well as sketching ones. Mental, I do use white paper and graphite and then invert the images after I've scanned them. At the moment I'm using a spiral sketch pad - is this a good grade of paper to use? I really like seeing yours - very nice indeed and your "comet" is quite delightful. I see what you mean about the texture of the black paper - the end result looks great. Sounds like it would be good to see a few of Sab's and Paul's too...
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:27 PM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Hi Paddy,

Sorry I took a while in getting back to your question about paper.

Choose a paper with a very fine texture. If you can see any 'roughness' when you tilt the paper to a light source, then propably too textured.

Plain old 80gsm copy paper is what I use. Cheap and smooth without being shiny. Though you usually need to make up some type of pad if your source of paper is a ream.

Many types of sketch pads use 'cartridge' paper, which is too heavily textured. Easy enough to check as I detailed above. I wouldn't worry about the cost of the paper reflecting on its quality at this stage. These initial sketches are a means unto an end with your final 'black paper' ones. You want something that works for you.

I'm hoping to get some done with the next New Moon. I've got a new 8" f/4 rich field scope that demands a dark sky. Saw Eta Carina from Sydney at 26X in a 68deg. EP. It's enormous! The sky glow in this scope is a killer though in Sydney. Hopefully the skies will be clear in two weeks!
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:18 PM
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Yeah, the usual 80gsm white is the way to go. However, I'd advise that you avoid cheap brands such as Coles, Homebrand etc, as these appear to be slightly rougher than brands such as Reflex. The difference is subtle, but is noticable when you run your finger across the paper, and when you are doing fine sketching work.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:36 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Thanks Alex and Sab, I will give this a go. Have picked up a smudge stick and mouldable eraser to experiment with as well. Hoping for a few hours between cloud fronts tonight.
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