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Macrobius and Tisserand (or, Stippling is hard!)

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#1 cildarith

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 10:09 PM

I have always been awestruck by the incredible lunar sketches produced by Harold Hill, Andrew Johnson, Nigel Longshaw, and Roy Bridge. Their works are, IMO, the very pinnacle of lunar sketching. Each of these gentlemen use a technique known as stippling wherein the image is built up by the accumulation of innumerable minute dots.

Here is my first feeble attempt at this rather challenging technique. For a target I opted for something fairly simple, a bit away from the harsh shadows of the terminator, the 64 km crater Macrobius and its environs. This crater has an unremarkable central peak and is noted for its terraced walls. It is near the northwestern shore of Mare Crisium.

Stippling is hard. Sketching without a pencil or other erasable media is also somewhat unnerving.

To improve on what I've done, I probably should have a proper stippling pen (as opposed to a Zebra Jimnie Gel Rollerball :o), and/or work at a larger scale than a 3-inch quarter-panel. Any other suggestions from those who have had success with this technique are most welcome!

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#2 Big Wall

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 10:38 PM

Wow! Excellent job!

#3 mathteacher

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 10:39 PM

Excellent!

#4 CarlosEH

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:26 AM

Eric,

An outstanding observation of Macrobius and Tisserand using the stippling technique. I believe that you have done an excellent job with the placement of the dots to create realistic shadows and terrain. I think we all "get the point" from this rendering (Ha! Ha!). Thank you for sharing it with us all.

Carlos

#5 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:49 AM

That is awesome! So it sounds like you did all the stippling at the eyepiece, instead of drawing contours & stippling later? Congratulations on getting such an excellent result.

#6 frank5817

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 10:44 AM

Eric,
You should not call that feeble, it is a wonderful sketch.
I have done some sketching this way in the distant past but nothing astronomical.
It looks great I would be proud of a sketch like yours but then all your sketches look great. :bow: :rainbow:

Frank :)

#7 kraterkid

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 11:38 AM

Eric your sketch is beautifully done! :bow: I concur about the difficulties of working with this medium though. Did you do this at the eyepiece? I've done some sketches, but always after doing the undersketch in pencil and indicating the albedo values by number for later work inside. Wonderful rendition! :waytogo:

#8 cildarith

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:10 PM

Thanks for the comments, everyone! :)

I will try the contours-albedo-value-thingy next time. Hopefully that will improve the results, and I won't feel quite so rushed to capture the scene with the moon diving toward the rooftops.

For this attempt I started by inking in the black shadowed areas and worked from dark to progressively lighter areas - which helped speed things along toward the end (fewer dots).

#9 Shannon s

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 06:17 PM

Great job, Eric. I haven't looked for a long time. I think they are still sold. Rapidiograph technical pens, are great for stippling - the tips vary in size and they are refillable. Cold press illustration board takes the ink well jus' be careful of hand smears. The only drawback is the constant pounding of the pen tip on the board and will eventually take its toll on the pen tip so watch for drips. Once again great stippling. :waytogo:

#10 cildarith

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 07:08 PM

Thanks Shannon. As a southpaw, hand smears are one of the banes of my existence...

#11 Special Ed

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 09:39 PM

Eric,

Great drawing--one of your better lunar drawings, I think. Thanks for sharing the ups and downs of this technique. Iirc, Harold Hill has some tips about using stippling in the introduction to his book. I believe he uses number values in the rough draft as mentioned above.

This is just a personal preference, but I think you can dispense with the circle template for lunar drawings to some advantage.

#12 vennard

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 08:10 AM

Eric,
An excellent drawing. Stippling is what seems to suite me best so I have done a bit over time. The smaller pen point the finer the shading and picture look. I have found a 3x rapidograph works well. When I draw I seem to 'lock' my hand to a spot and as a result create patterns with dot making. The answer to this is to rotate the drawing and work from different angles. If you are doing a drawing near the terminator plan on the view changing after about 30-40 minutes of work, so if you are doing detail, shadows move as the lighting changes and new detail becomes obvious. I do a quick, light pencil sketch and number the values on a 1-5 scale on an overlay to help keep the drawing a bit more precise. If you check out Hill's book you will notice that he had/s a tendency to concentrate on a few details in a particular area featuring the structure he wanted to emphasise, in other words dont take on to big an area or worry to much about all the minutia around the subject, something I have yet to understand compleatly. This style realy does not lend itself to 'studys' but rather a more in depth work. If you continue drawing in this style use a larger pen point (a rapidiograph #1 or 2) while limiting yourself to a single limited subject area I think you will do just fine, and produce excellent drawings.

It seems I have one picture posted in the member gallery under vennard, not one of my best (and a practice at that) from a photo done during last winter snows. It was done with a #3x and a brush for the larger black areas, which ruin the effect, on an illustration board. The initial drawing was 30 min (as if at the telescope)and then put away, with probably a couple of hours finishing it off...
Mike

#13 vennard

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 08:14 AM

PS- I am left handed also...
mike

#14 Dee

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 12:43 PM

Fantastic wonderful, admirable. !!!
I appreciate the intensity of dot making
in achieving this sketch.

I have not used a rapidograph for hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ??? 30 years , used to love them a lot.:flower:

At the moment I am and have been for months producing a reproduction of Galileo’s sketches and am well familiar with thousands of dots.

This method reminds me of pointalism , a drawing craze in the late 1800’s in Europe.

The best thing I like about the method is the creation of the negative space by being very positive
about the positive spaces. A super sketch, great technique, and patience.
:flower:

Dee

#15 cildarith

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 04:08 PM

Thanks Mike and Dee! :)

My second try turned out better, thanks to the excellent suggestions posted here.

#16 Dee

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 05:37 PM

Awesome sketch , love that method, well executed

Dee






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