Jump to content


Photo

Flat-out sketching: one hour's my limit

  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 Jeff Young

Jeff Young

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4518
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Ireland

Posted 24 May 2009 - 07:43 AM

Here's an interesting experiment in sketching a fast-changing solar prominence. This represents one hour of flat out sketching: as soon as I finished one frame I started the next.

I would have liked to have done two more, but I ran out of steam. It's surprisingly hard to concentrate for that long at a stretch. (Or maybe I'm just getting old. ;) )

Derwent white Graphitint pencil on black Strathmore Artagain paper. Two frames per sheet, combined in Photoshop.

-- Jeff.

Attached Files



#2 TenthEnemy

TenthEnemy

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 904
  • Joined: 21 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Maryland

Posted 24 May 2009 - 09:40 AM

Very good sequence there, If you could get them all to line up it would make a nice animation.

#3 kraterkid

kraterkid

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4957
  • Joined: 07 Mar 2005
  • Loc: Jacumba, California

Posted 24 May 2009 - 12:29 PM

Truly amazing solar sketch sequence Jeff! :bow: :rainbow: :bow:

#4 Erix

Erix

    Toad Lily

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 25758
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Texas, USA

Posted 24 May 2009 - 12:39 PM

Terrific job, Jeff! :bow: Les and I both used to enjoy doing those as well. In fact, I've animated a few of mine and made collages if you're interested in seeing them. Sequence sketching really shows the changes over a short period of time.
2007 06 09 prom sequence
2007 06 09 Animation that Alan Friedman did for me

Eruption prominence sketch sequences are also very rewarding.
2007 07 07 eruption prominence sequence
2007 07 07 Animation that I created of the eruption




#5 Jeff Young

Jeff Young

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4518
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Ireland

Posted 24 May 2009 - 01:53 PM

Thanks, Tenth, Rich and Erika!

I should try an animation -- I'm a bit concerned that it would highlight less-than-accurate placement of the components between frames.

Erika -- did you sketch the frames of yours in some manner to keep the details "registered" between frames, or is there more tolerance for error here than one might imagine?

-- Jeff.

#6 Erix

Erix

    Toad Lily

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 25758
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Texas, USA

Posted 24 May 2009 - 02:12 PM

Jeff, it was pretty difficult for me to try and keep the prominences the same size. It helped for me to draw the limb edge several times down the page first so that I could try to keep them fairly even size and curve wise. But, you can resize each prom in Photoshop, or which ever program you use, to get them the same size if needed.

The "tween" frames are the hardest bit because they combine the actual sketch frames in an effort to smooth out the transition from one sketch to the other. But there are plenty of options in the animation programs to adjust for this. It works out best if the sketches are created closely time wise so that there will be a smooth transition because of less dramatic changes in them to begin with. That's easier said than done, huh?

What is good with the animation programs is that you can also click on a key area of a prominence and use that as a reference point to match up the other prominences. Like in the eruption prominence sequence I did, I believe I matched it up to the brightest part of the first sketch at the base of the prom. I've got other animations of prominence sequences and even following active regions as they cross the solar disc. Some I'm ok with, some look poor because of me not matching the reference points up well or not getting them all sized ok. The worst is trying to get a smooth "tween" frame to make nice flowing transitions from one sketch to the next. Alan was much better at it than me.

I'm not sure how much animation experience you have, but if you're only starting in with it, I've written a very basic tutorial for it in the solar "how to threads" of this sketching forum. I have a lot to learn yet but hope to get better as I get more experience.

I hope you do try to animate yours. It would make not only a very beautiful animation, but a very informative one for showing how quickly proms can change. :D

#7 Erix

Erix

    Toad Lily

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 25758
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Texas, USA

Posted 24 May 2009 - 02:16 PM

Jeff, here's the tutorial I wrote to explain how I do mine. The images are clickable links to larger images. I know there have got to be better ways to do it, but I'm not very savvy on that sort of thing. :grin: Solar animation tutorial

#8 Special Ed

Special Ed

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6953
  • Joined: 18 May 2003
  • Loc: Greenbrier Co., WV 38N, 80W

Posted 24 May 2009 - 04:17 PM

Jeff,

That prom sequence is a terrific set of sketches. It wears me out too when I do a sequence--you must have had a very intense session with all the detail you captured.

Keeping everything the same size can be a bit tricky, especially if the proms are shrinking or pulling away from the solar limb--you did a great job with that.

I hope you get a chance to try animating this sequence. I've never done an animation, but have admired Erika's efforts. We can all learn from your experience, good, bad, or ugly. :cool:

#9 CarlosEH

CarlosEH

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7171
  • Joined: 19 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Pembroke Pines, Broward County, Florida

Posted 24 May 2009 - 05:03 PM

Jeff,

An excellent series of prominence observations. It does wear you out to follow the activity along the solar limb and record it. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

Carlos

#10 Jeff Young

Jeff Young

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4518
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Ireland

Posted 24 May 2009 - 05:25 PM

Thanks, everyone!

I'll have to give this animiation thing a go. One of the first computer applications I worked on for the general market was an animation application* -- but that was 25 years ago. I imagine I'll find that things have moved on a bit since then. ;)

I think I'll start with Erika's tutorial....

Cheers,
-- Jeff.

* We never shipped the animation app, but we did spin out the painting environment from it, which became FullPaint. Some of its innovations, such as floating tool palettes, can still be seen in today's Photoshop.

#11 rolandlinda3

rolandlinda3

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3395
  • Joined: 24 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Crozet VA 22932

Posted 24 May 2009 - 10:34 PM

You may have run out of steam, but your results are beautiful. Erika's done some wonderful stuff with the animation that I think you will enjoy. Roland

#12 SallyR

SallyR

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 881
  • Joined: 08 Oct 2006
  • Loc: England

Posted 25 May 2009 - 02:19 AM

Jeff - it's great fun animating a sketch sequence, do give it a go. I tried out Erika's excellent tutorial a couple of years ago and found it very easy to follow. I have created a few animations since then for various presentations I have done, and I always re-read Erika's tutorial before I start!

(Thanks again Erika for a superb tutorial! :flower:)

#13 frank5817

frank5817

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8382
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Illinois

Posted 25 May 2009 - 08:15 AM

Jeff,

This is a magical sketching sequence wonderfully executed and displayed. :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

Frank :)

#14 Jeff Young

Jeff Young

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4518
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Ireland

Posted 25 May 2009 - 09:19 AM

Thanks, Roland and Frank!

And thanks for the encouragement on the animation, Sally. I shall give it a go. (He says with no minor amount of trepidation. :whistle:)

-- Jeff.

#15 markseibold

markseibold

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1572
  • Joined: 19 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Portland Oregon

Posted 28 May 2009 - 03:19 PM

Jeff

Very nice sequence of solar prominence sketches! :bow: :bow: :bow: I really like your sketchy impressions and free form to capture the details of edge prominences. That is something I struggle with as I need to do more quick sketching.

However, the beautiful image sequencing that Erika has performed can be a wide array of motion assembly content and approaches, programs, etc. as I have worked with film makers and editing over the years, I would not necessarily convey a one hour limit to that film work or sketches as it can take days to assemble depending on what your trying to achieve.

Back to the sketching though; I appreciate your approach to do several prominence sketches in a fast sequence of work- It can make for a great practice session in sketching; yet I always spend at least one hour on my works, if not approaching at least two to three on the recent lunar sketches. I would not want to convey that I have done some of the award winning works in under one hour or even two or three hours; maybe in measuring only the chalk-to-paper-contact time at the eyepiece. (The 20" X 25" size of format that I work in dictates much extra time also) But the actual brainstorming to the idea for each work probably came from hours of pre-determined thought and borrowing from past works. With that said, it could be measured that some of my award winners took many days in thought and flat-out planning. Then at times much of those plans changed while at the eyepiece doing the actual sketching. Unforeseen life of art, I call it. This is what makes it so exciting; the surprises in the process.

I look forward to seeing more of your sketch work,

Mark

#16 Jeff Young

Jeff Young

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4518
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Ireland

Posted 28 May 2009 - 05:22 PM

Mark --

When you're doing a 2 or 3 hour sketch, would you take several breaks during that time, or do you find the whole process relaxing to start with?

I used to race formula cars; when I was a novice my lap times would start to fade after only 2 or 3 laps, but with practice and improved skill I got to where I could nearly concentrate for a full race (about 20 laps). So perhaps I just need more practice sketching (both to decrease my effort-per-minute and increase my total effort "budget").

Part of it must also be that I feel a bit rushed doing prominences. I did about an hour and a half of deep sky sketching the other night, and didn't feel worn out at all. But there I'm only sketching about 40% of the time, and the other 60% is finding, viewing, switching eyepieces, etc.

-- Jeff.

#17 markseibold

markseibold

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1572
  • Joined: 19 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Portland Oregon

Posted 29 May 2009 - 12:04 AM

Mark --

When you're doing a 2 or 3 hour sketch, would you take several breaks during that time, or do you find the whole process relaxing to start with?

I used to race formula cars; when I was a novice my lap times would start to fade after only 2 or 3 laps, but with practice and improved skill I got to where I could nearly concentrate for a full race (about 20 laps). So perhaps I just need more practice sketching (both to decrease my effort-per-minute and increase my total effort "budget").

Part of it must also be that I feel a bit rushed doing prominences. I did about an hour and a half of deep sky sketching the other night, and didn't feel worn out at all. But there I'm only sketching about 40% of the time, and the other 60% is finding, viewing, switching eyepieces, etc.

-- Jeff.


Jeff

Yes and no and I am glad that [you] asked.

It is difficult for me to imagine comparing driving a race car with the art of sketching as I can take days, sometimes weeks to decide and plan an artwork. Imagine a race car driver going to a Maharishi meditation for a week in India before his next lap; the wind, temperature and the weather, the last glass of wine I had, the extra cup of coffee, the headline news today, etc. That’s me. I cannot really see the relationship, (although I do enjoy driving a manual shift sports car for 30 years as I have been relegated to my father’s automatic for the past few years) but that race car analogy might work for you and some others. I do not know that I really have a set process or time limit. It can vary greatly for different celestial objects. And I have taken breaks to run into the house for a cup of tea, but once I start I am on a role and do not stop until finished. *See the movie Pollock in which Ed Harris plays the painter. Life magazine is sent out to interview him; a woman asks, How do you know when you are done with a painting? . . . I won't answer here in this forum; you'll have to see the movie. I have the same answer.

When I used to do the sun I started with a rough pencil sketch that I then referred to in the house later to render the colored pastel from. I know that is now frowned on by the sketching moderators. Since turning to the moon, some nights I look at it for a few minutes to decide of I see anything interesting. Then I go out to sit there in the cold and dampness for a few hours till I can tolerate no more. I will admit this, if I have not already; I plan to do some entirely new approach every time I decide to sketch. I do not want to compile a technical log of similar formats and images as if I am being assigned to document a coroners’ report. I want to see the object, then comply with the rules here to an agreed degree in the forum, then turn it into astounding and aesthetic art. That is my story and I’m sticking to it. I’ve been doing that since I was a child and it seems to work.

You have just got me to realize what a small niche I am in with my art. I am not really sure how to categorize what I do. I guess it can become quite personal for some people. I have been doing serious graphic art since I was in the third grade of elementary school. I have always been categorized as a special art style like none of my class mates. An early example is in my www.markseibold.com that was produced in the sixth grade for reference. I probably spent several hours on this piece over several days at my school desk. It is compared to MC Escher’s works, yet I did not know who Escher was then as I learned all the art history much later after high school.

It just occurred to me why we must work so fast with prominences; due to the sun being so dynamic, hence it changes fast. I guess that makes solar sketchers good race car drivers? Or have I got that backwards? Good race car drivers make great solar sketchers? :question: :cool:

I just saw your entry for this months contest. The Leo triplet you have submitted is superb. I need to get to the formality of using the eyepiece circle template with more detailed text, like the rest of you do. I feel that the moderators are allowing me some special exception here as I boarder on only aesthetic art of the moon too often. I guess I owe it to the CN sketchers as I rediscovered the moon through sketching it. And what a joy this is!

I remember that it was you who wrote to the rest asking why Mark's solar sketches could not be included in the sketching and that my hand in the sketch was not interfering on the outer perimeter of my art works.

As you all can see, I traded my hand and the suns low activity for the constance of the moon. Yet I feel that I have not even scratched the surface of the moon, compared to Rich's, Frank's, Carlos', Eric's, Roland's, Erika's and others detailed lunar close-ups.

Something to learn from perhaps. Feel free to ask questions as I am discovering my own art through all of you here in the forum.

Mark

#18 cildarith

cildarith

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 2668
  • Joined: 26 Aug 2004
  • Loc: San Diego, CA

Posted 29 May 2009 - 10:27 AM

When I used to do the sun I started with a rough pencil sketch that I then referred to in the house later to render the colored pastel from. I know that is now frowned on by the sketching moderators.


Eh? Just a quick point of clarification. I do not frown on anyone's technique! Especially the one you mention since I do that myself quite frequently. As long as you are careful not to embellish you re-drawn sketch with details not present in the eyepiece or on the original field sketch, this is perfectly acceptable and (I would imagine) a common practice.

Carry on!

#19 Erix

Erix

    Toad Lily

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 25758
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Texas, USA

Posted 29 May 2009 - 11:46 AM

As long as you are careful not to embellish you re-drawn sketch with details not present in the eyepiece or on the original field sketch, this is perfectly acceptable and (I would imagine) a common practice.

Carry on!


Embellishment, before I stepped down from being a moderator, was always the key factor in deciding where a sketch should be posted...sketching forum vs astro art. Redrawing a field sketch inside never came to play in this decision unless features on the target where added that weren't actually there from the original observational pencil sketch. Also, the inclusion of hands being drawn in were never taken into consideration. It was always based on embellishments of the target itself. If it was obvious that the finished sketch came more from outside sources or imagination to make a "pretty sketch", then it defeated the purpose that this sketching forum was originally started for. The Astro Art forum would be the better fit in that case.

If there is no distinction between between the two, then perhaps the two forums should be combined.

#20 markseibold

markseibold

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1572
  • Joined: 19 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Portland Oregon

Posted 29 May 2009 - 06:08 PM

As long as you are careful not to embellish you re-drawn sketch with details not present in the eyepiece or on the original field sketch, this is perfectly acceptable and (I would imagine) a common practice.

Carry on! [Eric]
========

Embellishment, before I stepped down from being a moderator, was always the key factor in deciding where a sketch should be posted...sketching forum vs astro art. Redrawing a field sketch inside never came to play in this decision unless features on the target where added that weren't actually there from the original observational pencil sketch. Also, the inclusion of hands being drawn in were never taken into consideration. It was always based on embellishments of the target itself. If it was obvious that the finished sketch came more from outside sources or imagination to make a "pretty sketch", then it defeated the purpose that this sketching forum was originally started for. The Astro Art forum would be the better fit in that case.

If there is no distinction between between the two, then perhaps the two forums should be combined. [Erika]


I appreciate your latitude, liberty, scope and breathing space that you had allowed me, Erika, Charlie, and Eric.

I have always made efforts to keep a central focal point on an actual observed celestial object although I was adding my sketching hand in the past for some humor in my solar sketches; I have now resorted to an imagined but possibly realistic lunar landscape added in the lower perimeter. Whether or not it is “pretty”, it seems to have helped to capture the monthly award twice for my art here and I must thank all of you again for allowing this. I hope that I have possibly set a new precedent in technical art inspired from scientific observation.

If I only serve to inspire others to try sketching with my use of some minimal aesthetics, then I hope to have accomplished converting some new aspiring sketch artists. I know this artistic process is critical to observing and I believe that other [‘non-artists’] should discover it. They will be very surprised what can be learned. Something as yet unknown to them awaits their discovery of [this process.]

Combining both the fantasy art and technical sketching forums is something I feel that I cannot comment on. I know the pages would run off the daily screen if that were allowed. I’ll be curious to see what others have to say about this. A very interesting discussion here about artistic process vs empirical scientific methods.

I apologize if we highjacked Jeff's original post about one hour time limits in sketching. Jeff, do you ever consider longer than one hour for other celestial objects aside from the sun? What is your limit? I could go all night if I could eliminate the dew to the paper and nowhere to be in the morning. Imagine an all night sketchers marathon at a star party.

Mark
www.markseibold.com
My CN Sketch Gallery

#21 Erix

Erix

    Toad Lily

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 25758
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Texas, USA

Posted 29 May 2009 - 06:21 PM

Mark, you are a superb artist and a great ambassador for astronomy and sketching. :bow:

BTW, I stepped down as a mod last year so I could simply enjoy the forums again as a regular member. Whatever decisions are made here in the sketching forum are in the very fair and capable hands of Eric and Charlie.

#22 varmint

varmint

    I invite more abuse

  • *****
  • Posts: 1327
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Pacifica, CA, USA

Posted 29 May 2009 - 07:01 PM

Wow Jeff, those are great! I think it'd take me an hour just to do the first image you captured in 15 minutes... It's good I don't have a solar scope, I'd probably get frustrated from "missing" more because I'm too slow to catch them on a sketch... ;) ;)

#23 Jeff Young

Jeff Young

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4518
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Ireland

Posted 30 May 2009 - 07:58 AM

Mark --

It's an interesting question how long I could go with more relaxing deep sky targets. I've done an hour and a half there and not felt any worse for the wear, but I usually feel satisfied (and cold) after a couple of hours of observing.

-- Jeff.

[Ed: no worries on the hijack; this thread was meant to be more about the process than the actual sketches -- I posted the observation thread in the solar section.]

#24 Jeff Young

Jeff Young

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4518
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Ireland

Posted 30 May 2009 - 08:00 AM

Thanks, Jim!

-- Jeff.

#25 Dee

Dee

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 871
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2006
  • Loc: Ireland

Posted 04 June 2009 - 06:10 PM

These are great sketches Jeff, I just saw them now June 5th by a few minutes. I have not tried animation yet myself and have a burning need to do it soon. Sally kindly animated some of my solar sketches some time ago but ye really need to do it for yourself to be fair.
I will try Erika, method sooooooooooooooon :-)

I put about 10 -15 mins into a solar sketch then walk away for about 20 - 25 mins or so before doing the next one. The views change so much its like stop motion filming on paper.

For lunar sketches I can spend up to two and a half hours or so. Then of course the lighting has changed and decisions have to be made along the way. I think the longest time I spend on a sketch have been 3 - 4 hours for a Saturn grazing of the moon some years back . Occultations and lunar eclipses also take a long time.

Dee






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics