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Old 24-10-2010, 08:03 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Solar sketches - full disc and AR 1117

Got a chance to do some solar sketches today. First time that I've attempted the full disc and second go at an active region. I used HB pencil, smudge stick with B graphite swatch and kneadable eraser. I think I'm going to need a harder pencil as the HB is too dark and the smudge stick is too broad for the wispy detail on the prominences. I also found it quite a challenge to get the bright bits around AR 1117 - the kneadable eraser just couldn't bring it up enough (I'd done a faint grey wash across the disc with the smudge stick before I sketched with the idea that I could brighten patches with the eraser). I tried a white pastel pencil, but this seem to have little effect. So I retrospectively put some white pencil lines in using GIMP on the full disc, but I'd like to be able to get it done at the eyepiece. So any ideas would be welcome. Any suggestions at all.

All through ED 80 with Lunt Ha filter at 0.7 angstroms. The full disc was at 46X, the AR at 67

Thanks for looking.
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  #2  
Old 24-10-2010, 09:48 PM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Hi Paddy,

Man, we've got a rush on solar sketchs happening!!

Nice stuff too, Paddy.

I have a couple of suggestions. One is to plan your sketch first! How? It's in the methodology in drawing development.

Here is where pencil grade selection helps.

Using a hard pencil, like 2H or even 4H, lightly mark the position of the main features, boundaries, highlights, fading direction and the such. Then there are two choices- darkest next or lightest next. Darkest sets the tone for the lighter areas, the reverse for the lightest first.

By marking the highlights in "AR 1117", you can leave these alone, then only shade the surrounds. Using a rubber to only create the highlights is harder to control the edges and softness sometimes needed. It can leave the 'highlights' dirty or too sharp or the wrong shape. If the highlights are planned for, using an eraser can be less trying and more deliberate.

One tip my sister gave me (and I mentioned this in another thread) is to do a little drawing exercise before sitting down to your task. It might seen trivial or a waste of time or 'I can't be bothered' thing, but it really, really works. Like any form of exercise, our fingers, eyes and mind need to be prepped to optimise performance.

It is a logical thing. Heard of "getting your eye in"? Same thing, hand-eye co-ordination and tricking up your fine motor skills. Noticed how as your sketch progresses, the first lines you laid down are less than convincing?

And what was this "exercise" she suggested? A cube in perspective, say with 40mm sides, and with three roughly equal sized sides showing, then shade in the three surfaces, lightest to darkest. NO erasers or rubbers or smudge sticks or what ever! Just you and the pencil tip. It's all about control and impression.

See why I don't use 'smudging' now?

Last edited by mental4astro; 24-10-2010 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 24-10-2010, 10:17 PM
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michaellxv (Michael)
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Great sketch Paddy.

Nice tip Alex.

I have also found references to an eraser shield (google it) which helps control erasing small details. Something else on my shopping list.
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Old 24-10-2010, 10:20 PM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaellxv View Post
I have also found references to an eraser shield (google it) which helps control erasing small details. Something else on my shopping list.

I've got one, and I use it. Mine is now 27 years old! Very useful little thing!

http://www.google.com.au/images?q=tb...IW3Rumf-Fpe9U=
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Old 25-10-2010, 07:40 AM
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Nice going Paddy,awesome sketches.

Keep up the good work
cheers orestis
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Old 25-10-2010, 09:01 AM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Thanks all for your responses. And I will track down an eraser shield.

And thanks for some very good tips, Alexander. I think developing the skill to plan the sketch is a very good idea. So rather than start with the shading and erasing, start with the features and leave the highlights. Sounds eminently sensible. I can also see the benefit of the exercise. Do I have the discipline? We shall see.
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